Public transport ridership across U.S. rises to over 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels

Posted: 5 October 2022 | | No comments yet

According to APTA’s latest report, a return to offices and schools is fuelling the U.S. transport industry’s post-pandemic recovery, as public transit ridership increases to over 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

U.S. public transport ridership rises to over 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels

Credit: American Public Transportation Association

The American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Ridership Trends Dashboard shows that the public transportation industry has seen ridership rebound to more than 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in September 2022, a continuation of an upward trend reflective of the nation emerging from the pandemic.

“Public transit agencies suffered catastrophic blows to ridership when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in March 2020. Systems saw significant declines in ridership as offices closed and Americans were urged to work from home for extended periods. But now, as we see more workers return to the office, more students return to school, and more community destinations such as restaurants, theatres and retail stores re-open their doors, agencies from coast-to-coast are seeing a rise in ridership,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas.

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Throughout the course of the pandemic, transit systems have provided mobility to essential workers and commuters across the U.S. Although workers in many cities continue to work from home, at least due to hybrid working, there is still a steady growth in ridership. This latest data shows that public transportation continues to move people, connecting them to their communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic had an immediate and significant impact on public transportation ridership. Ridership declines began in mid-March 2020, coinciding with stay-at-home emergency orders in many cities and states across the country. Ridership declined to a low point of 10 to 40 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in many cities. After falling to 20 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in April 2020, ridership has recovered to more than 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. This rise in ridership is reflective of transit agencies adapting to the swiftly changing needs of their communities while delivering safe, reliable service.