Vanishing Automobile Update #27

The Good News and the (Mostly) Bad News about Transit

First distributed 17 June 2002


Transit advocates claim that recent increases in transit ridership is proof that Americans are turning away from the auto and that transit--especially rail transit--deserves more funding than ever. Yet transit gains are tiny relative to increases in auto driving. The tens of billions invested in transit in recent years have done little but leave surface transportation funding highly unbalanced: Though we travel nearly one hundred times as much by auto as by transit, we spend less than four times as much on highways as on transit.

Data recently issued by the Census Bureau, the American Public Transportation Association, the Federal Transit Administration, and the Federal Highway Administration allows a new look at the state of transit in American urban areas. I am grateful to Wendell Cox for summarizing the 2000 census data on his web site.

This report is divided into seven sections, which can be summarized as follows:

  1. Transit commuting is stagnant: The number of workers commuting by transit in 2000 was virtually unchanged from 1990 despite an 11 percent growth in employment.
  2. Rail is irrelevant: Among major urban areas, rail made little difference in whether transit gained or lost riders and market share. The increases transit experienced in some areas is due more to job growth and job concentration than rail transit.
  3. Transit is losing or has a trivial market share: Transit lost market share in most of its major markets, including New York, Chicago, and Boston, and in most markets where it gained share it still carries a trivial proportion of urban travel.
  4. Auto travel is growing far faster than transit: In all urban areas, the growth in auto travel is tens to hundreds of times greater than the growth in transit ridership.
  5. Transit is well funded: Transit's slow growth (or continuing decline) is not due to a lack of funding, as transit received more than $180 billion in subsidies in the last decade alone.
  6. Light rail is a disaster: Even by transit's anemic standards, light rail stands out as a disaster, requiring two-and-one-half to three times the subsidies per passenger mile of other transit modes.
  7. Transit subsidies far greater than road subsidies: While all subsidies can be harmful, per passenger mile transit subsides are one hundred times as much, and light-rail subsidies nearly 250 times as much, as highway subsidies.

1. Is Transit Gaining on the Automobile?

Transit agencies carried Americans on nearly 9.4 billion transit rides in 2000, more than in any previous year since 1960. The increase from only 7.8 million trips in 1995 has been much ballyhooed by the transit industry and its supporters. Yet new data from a variety of sources demonstrates that transit funding has been a gross failure by practically any measure--and that the greatest failure is light rail.

Transit critics are quick to point out that "transit rides" (known in the business as "unlinked trips") are not the same as personal trips. If you ride a bus then transfer to a subway, you take one personal trip but the transit agency counts you twice. Some suspect that increases in unlinked trips are partly due to increased transfers, not increased personal trips. In transit's defense, however, transit passenger miles have actually grown faster than unlinked trips: 16 percent in the last decade compared with 7 percent in trip growth. Yet urban auto driving grew even more (table one).

Table One
Transit and Driving, 1990-2000
(billions of trips or miles)
                           1990      2000  % Increase
Transit Trips               8.8       9.4      6.8
Transit Passenger Miles    41.1      47.7     16.1
Urban Vehicle Miles       1,275     1,665     30.6
Rural Vehicle Miles         869     1,085     24.9

Source: American Public Transportation Association and Highway Statistics 2000, table VM-2.

The good news that transit trips are back to 1960 levels is dimmed by the fact that, since 1960, the U.S. population has grown more than 50 percent and urban driving has increased by a whopping 420 percent! Despite the doubling of U.S. jobs since 1960, the number of commuters riding transit to work fell from 7.8 million in 1960 to 6.1 million in 2000.

For transit supporters, the most disappointing new statistic comes from the 2000 census, which reported that the number of American workers taking public transit to work was virtually unchanged since 1990. The estimated 6,067,700 American workers using transit in 2000--4.7 percent of all workers--was actually about 1,900 less than in 1990. This is all the more stunning because the number of workers grew from 115 million to 128 million. Any growth in transit ridership must be non-commuter traffic--which means it isn't doing much to relieve rush-hour congestion.

2. Transit's Mixed Fortunes

Wendell Cox downloaded 2000 census data and posted 1990 and 2000 transit usage by workers and transit's share of the commuter market on his web site. The following summary is based on his table showing transit's share of the work market in 1990 and 2000 in fifty major metropolitan statistical areas.

Metropolitan statistical areas are larger than urbanized areas (for which the Census Bureau won't have data for another year); MSAs include all land in the counties around a central city even though much of that land isn't really urbanized.

Most of the commuting data in this and the next section are for "combined metropolitan statistical areas." The Portland area, for example, includes Salem Oregon and Vancouver Washington. Counting Portland alone would produce slightly different results. The one exception is Baltimore-Washington, a combined MSA which I separated by downloading individual county data for the Baltimore and Washington MSAs from the Census Bureau web site.

Transit results were mixed in the various metropolitan areas. Table two lists three categories:

The table also shows that regions with and without rail transit fall into all three categories.

Table Two
Urban Area Changes in Transit Commuting and Market Share
Rail Urban Areas            Non-Rail Urban Areas

    Gained Both Riders and Market Share
Denver                      Las Vegas
Los Angeles                 Orlando
Portland                    Seattle
Sacramento                  West Palm Beach
San Diego
San Francisco Bay Area          

    Gained Riders But Lost Market Share
Atlanta                     Austin
Boston                      Houston
New York                    Minneapolis-St. Paul
Salt Lake                   Phoenix

     Lost Both Riders and Market Share
Baltimore                   Cincinnati
Buffalo                     Columbus
Chicago                     Detroit
Cleveland                   Indianapolis
Dallas-Ft. Worth            Jacksonville
Miami                       Kansas City
Philadelphia                Louisville
Pittsburgh                  Milwaukee
St. Louis                   Nashville
Washington                  Rochester

The list suggests that regional growth is far more important to transit's fortunes than rail. The urban areas where transit gained both share and riders are all fastest-growing regions in the West and Florida. Job growth was also high in the mostly eastern and southern urban areas where transit gained riders but lost market share. The urban areas that lost both riders and share are mostly in slow-growing rust-belt states, though the list also includes Dallas, Miami, and Jacksonville.

3. Transit's Tiny Market Share

Even in the areas that gained both worker-transit riders and market share, transit's market share is pitifully small. The National Transit Database reports passenger miles by transit mode in each urban area. The Federal Highway Administration's Highway Statistics series reports vehicle miles in each urban area, which can be multiplied by 1.6 to get passenger miles. From these data we can calculate transit's share of motorized travel as well as rail transit's share of motorized travel.

Table three compares these numbers for 2000 with transit's share of the commuter market reported by the 2000 census. The motorized travel data are for urbanized areas, while the commuter data are for metropolitan statistical areas, which as noted are slightly different. But the comparisons are still useful.

Table Three
Transit's Share of Motorized and Commuter Travel
Share of:           Motorized Travel   Commuter Travel
Urban Area           Transit   Rail     2000     1990
Atlanta                1.3      0.8      3.7      4.7
Austin                 1.0        0      2.6      3.4
Baltimore              2.2      0.5      6.2      7.4
Boston                 4.6      3.7      9.0     10.6
Buffalo                0.7      0.1      3.5      4.7
Chicago                3.9      2.8     11.5     13.7
Cincinnati             0.9        0      3.1      3.6
Cleveland              1.3      0.4      3.4      4.6
Dallas-Ft. Worth       0.5      0.1      1.8      2.4
Denver                 1.4      0.1      4.3      4.3
Detroit                0.5        0      1.8      2.4
Houston                1.1        0      3.3      3.7
Indianapolis           0.3        0      1.3      2.0
Kansas City            0.3        0      1.3      2.0
Las Vegas              1.2        0      4.1      2.0
Los Angeles            1.5      0.3      4.7      4.6
Louisville             0.4        0      2.2      3.2
Milwaukee              1.2        0      4.0      4.8
Minneapolis-St. Paul   1.0        0      4.6      5.2
Nashville              0.2        0      1.0      1.7
New York              10.8      6.8     24.9     26.6
Orlando                0.7        0      1.7      1.6
Philadelphia           3.2      1.9      8.7     10.2
Phoenix                0.5        0      2.0      2.0
Pittsburgh             1.6      0.2      6.2      8.0
Portland               2.1      0.7      5.7      5.4
Providence             0.5        0      2.5      3.2
Raleigh-Durham         0.1        0      1.7      2.0
Rochester              0.5        0      2.0      3.2
Sacramento             0.8      0.3      2.7      2.4
Salt Lake              1.1      0.4      3.0      3.0
San Diego              1.5      0.6      3.4      3.3
San Francisco          4.3      2.7      9.5      9.3
Seattle                2.7        0      6.8      6.2
St. Louis              0.8      0.3      2.4      3.0
Washington             3.7      2.8     11.1     13.3
West Palm Beach        0.3        0      1.4      1.4

Source: Transit and rail's share of motorized travel is from the 2000 National Transit Database and Highway Statistics 2000. Transit's 2000 and 1990 share of commuter travel is from and is based on 2000 census data.

Six urban areas--New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, and Philadelphia--stand out as megacities in which transit carries more than 3 percent of all passenger miles and more than 8 percent of commuter travel. The "big-six" carry two out of three transit passenger miles in America. All six have rail systems, but more important, they tend to have massive numbers of downtown jobs.

Transit has a 4.7 percent share of motorized travel in Honolulu, probably because of its large military base. A few smaller urban areas, such as college towns, may also achieve these percentages, but no other major urban area does.

Table three has five major lessons:

  1. Having a strong transit network doesn't help: Five of the big six lost share in worker travel, and three of them lost both share and commuter riders, from 1990 to 2000. The major exception was San Francisco.
  2. Outside of the big six, transit is of little consequence: Except for Seattle and Honolulu, transit carries less than 2.5 percent of total travel and less than 6 percent of commuter travel.
  3. Rail transit is especially irrelevant: In no urban area outside of the big six does rail carry more than 0.8 percent of motorized travel.
  4. Transit gains were even more trivial: The urban areas where transit gained a share of the commuter market typically gained only one- to three-tenths of a percent of the market. The big exceptions were the non-rail urban areas of Seattle and Las Vegas.
  5. Smart-growth Portland trails non-rail Seattle: Portland fans will cheer the fact that Portland's transit went from 5.4 to 5.7 percent share of the commuter market and that rail carries a third of the rides, a higher share than most other non-big-six regions. Yet Seattle transit has a larger market share and won a larger percentage increase in market share over the decade.

4. Transit Gains Swamped by Increases in Auto Travel

Table four shows that transit gains are swamped by increased auto driving: Even Seattle and Portland's gains in market share are trivial compared to changes in auto driving.

Portland gained 24,000 transit commuters, but 380,000 new jobs, meaning that it gained more than a dozen times as many new auto commuters as new transit commuters. Increases in automobile passenger miles are typically twenty to several hundred times as much as increases in transit passenger miles.

able four compares the growth in annual passenger miles to 2000 from 1993, the earliest year in which both transit and highway data are posted on the web. The key figure is the last column, which shows how many times highway driving has grown more than transit use.

Even where transit gained a share of commuter travel, the growth of total highway and street passenger miles exceed transit passenger mile growth by 22 to 185 times. In some regions where transit lost market share, highway growth exceeded transit growth by hundreds of times.

Table Four
Growth in Transit and Auto Passenger Miles 
(change from 1993 to 2000)
Region                   Transit     Highway   Hwy/Trnst
Regions in which Transit Gained Market Share
Denver                   137,850     5,422,201     39
Las Vegas                106,350     6,511,042     61
Los Angeles              352,793    15,153,032     43
Orlando                   80,651     5,907,117     73
Portland                 145,332     3,193,369     22
Sacramento                50,654     2,871,453     57
San Diego                176,976     5,905,894     33
San Francisco-Oakland     55,012     6,635,106    121
Seattle                  153,310     3,847,580     25
West Palm Beach           28,498     5,265,641    185
Regions in which Transit Lost Market Share
Atlanta                  221,237    13,075,616     59
Austin                    29,140     2,922,841    100
Baltimore                 14,723     2,868,458    195
Chicago                  387,946     9,377,493     24
Cincinnati                34,058     2,604,203     76
Cleveland                 51,186     1,675,522     33
Dallas-Fort Worth         88,583    22,127,977    250
Fort Lauderdale            5,924     5,236,713    884
Houston                  107,820     9,937,914     92
Indianapolis               5,346     2,703,553    506
Memphis                    5,989     2,059,904    344
Milwaukee                 57,433       810,258     14
Minneapolis-St. Paul      72,688     7,189,024     99
Philadelphia             133,376     2,091,251     16
Phoenix                   26,207     5,846,785    223
Salt Lake City            11,919     2,101,908    176
San Antonio               26,924     4,302,457    160
St. Louis                 86,274     4,068,492     47

Source: Changes in transit passenger miles are from the 2000 and 1993 National Transit Databases. Changes in auto passenger miles are from the 2000 and 1993 Highway Statistics, table HM-72, with daily vehicle miles of travel converted to annual passenger miles by multiplying by 365 days and 1.6 riders per auto.

5. Transit Is Well Funded

Transit's insignificance in the face of growing auto traffic is not a result of inadequate funding. From 1991 through 2000, transit agencies spent more than $70 billion on capital expenses, nearly two-thirds of which went into rail projects. The agencies also spent more than $186 billion on operating expenses, but collected only $72 billion in fares.

The growth in spending has far exceeded the growth in either ridership or fares. Since 1991, capital spending has grown by 76 percent and operating subsidies (operating expenses minus fares) has grown by 32 percent. Yet transit ridership has grown by just 9 percent.

As a result, transit subsidies have steadily grown even after adjusting for inflation. In the past decade, inflation-adjusted subsidies per ride increased by 18 percent and subsidies per passenger mile increased by 8 percent. In 2000, subsidies averaged $2.51 a ride and 49 cents per passenger mile.

One measure of waste in transit funding is declining worker productivity. In 1990, America's transit systems produced 150,800 passenger miles and 32,200 trips per full-time equivalent transit employee. By 2000, they produced only 133,100 passenger miles and 26,100 trips per employee. This represents a 12 to 19 percent decline in output per worker, which is mainly due to a 31 percent increase in employees.

Another reason for increased subsidies is wasted investments. Transit agencies have invested $43 billion in rail since 1992, compared with only $20 billion in buses, yet buses still carry 61 percent of all transit rides and 45 percent of passenger miles.

6. Light Rail Is the Biggest Waste

The biggest offender is light rail. Table five shows that 10.9 percent of transit capital investments were in light rail, yet this mode carries only 2.8 percent of transit riders and collects only 2.1 percent of transit fares. Nor is there much of a savings in operating expenses, since light rail accounts for 2.7 percent of transit operating expenses.

Heavy rail and commuter rail do better, with capital investments approximately on a par with ridership and operating expenses well below ridership. However, it is likely these modes do better because they are targeted to high-density cities and job centers such as Manhattan, Chicago, and Boston. Light rail can't be targeted because heavy rail can beat it in the densest areas and buses can beat it everywhere else.

Table Five
Share of Expenses, Fares, and Ridership by Transit Mode
Mode           Capital  Operating    Fares   Ridership 
Bus              30.7      57.3      50.0      44.6   
Commuter rail    21.9      11.9      15.7      19.7    
Heavy rail       32.1      17.4      28.4      29.0    
Light rail       10.9       2.7       2.1       2.8    
Other             4.5      10.8       3.8       3.8

This table compares the share of capital investments by mode over the past decade with operating expenses, fares, and ridership in 2000. "Other" includes demand-responsive buses, ferries, people movers, trolley buses, and various other modes. Source: American Public Transportation Association.

Table six shows that, as a result of wasteful spending on light rail, light-rail subsidies in 2000 were 2.5 times as much as for buses. Light-rail subsidies per passenger mile were nearly three times as much as for other rail modes.

Table Six
Subsidy Per Trip and Per Passenger Mile by Transit Mode
Mode          Unlinked Trip  Passenger Mile
Bus                2.09           0.56
Commuter Rail      7.49           0.33
Heavy Rail         1.63           0.31
Light Rail         5.22           1.23
Trolley Bus        2.19           1.39
Demand Response   16.83           2.11

Source: American Public Transportation Association. Includes capital and operating subsidies.

Though advertised as "high-capacity transit," light rail fails by this measure as well. Newly opened light-rail lines gain ridership over former bus routes because transit agencies tend to operate them more frequently than buses. Yet they are rarely operated more frequently than every seven minutes. Though individual rail cars may have more seats than buses, buses can operate every ten to thirty seconds.

Obviously, no single bus route would run every thirty seconds, but several routes in a broad corridor might. When transit agencies open new light-rail lines, they cancel all bus routes parallel to the rail corridor and force transit riders to use rail. This actually reduces the corridor's transit capacity.

Another way of measuring transit productivity is to look at ridership per directional route mile. A directional route mile is a mile in each direction; thus, a ten-mile rail line is usually twenty directional route miles. Table seven summarizes productivities by mode; data for individual rail systems are in an appendix below.

Table Seven
Daily Passenger Miles Per Directional Route Mile
Mode                 Average    Maximum
Commuter Rail          3,362     10,220  
Heavy Rail            24,617     46,236
Light Rail             4,428      8,484
Freeway lane mile     26,334     37,430

Source: Transit from National Transit Database, freeway from Highway Statistics 2000 (average of fifty largest urban areas only).

In 2000, America's heavy-rail lines carried an average of 24,600 passenger miles per directional route mile (pm/drm) each day. This is close to a lane of urban freeway, which carries about 26,000 passenger miles per lane mile--with a maximum of 37,000 pm/lm in Los Angeles.

However, New York subways are the only rail transit systems more productive than a freeway lane. The second most productive heavy-rail line, in Boston, carried only 17,100 pm/drm. Heavy-rail lines in Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Miami are particularly unproductive, carrying under 7,500 pm/drm.

Yet most light-rail lines pale even by comparison to unproductive heavy-rail lines. The average light-rail line in 2000 carried only 4,400 pm/drm. The most productive was Boston's at 8,500. The Hudson-Bergen, Sacramento, Baltimore, Denver, and San Jose light-rail lines were particularly unproductive, carrying 3,500 pm/drm or fewer.

Except in New York, commuter rail is similarly unproductive, though this is compensated for by lower costs. Still, buses could probably do better than commuter rail in most places where it is being considered.

Light rail underperforms in another way as well: at the farebox. The average bus fare is 77 cents, but the average light-rail fare is only 57 cents. Moreover, bus fares have grown by 47 percent in the past decade, but light-rail fares have only grown by 20 percent.

Table Eight
Average Transit Fares By Mode
                 1990    2000   Growth
Bus              0.52    0.77     47%
Commuter Rail    2.90    3.33     15%
Heavy Rail       0.74    0.94     27%
Light Rail       0.47    0.57     20%

Source: American Public Transportation Association

Lower light-rail fares might have been appropriate in 1990 because the average light-rail trips were 12 percent shorter than bus trips, so per-mile fares for both buses and light rail were both around 14 cents. But in 2000, the average light-rail trip had grown to be 13 percent longer than the average bus trip, so bus fares have grown to 21 cents per mile while light-rail fares have fallen to 13 cents per mile.

In all transit systems I know, light-rail fares are nominally equal to or greater than bus fares. Are transit agencies overreporting light-rail ridership or giving more free rides to light-rail riders? Or does it happen that transit agencies that have built light-rail lines are so hungry for riders that they charge less than all-bus transit agencies?

7. Transit vs. Auto Subsidies

Nationwide, automobiles carry about 2.6 trillion passenger miles a year on urban highways and streets, and another 1.7 trillion on rural roads. Urban transit, which carries less than 50 billion passenger miles a year, represents barely 1 percent of surface travel and 2 percent of urban travel.

In 2000, various levels of government spent about $65 billion on road capital investments, $30 billion on road maintenance, and $29 billion on administration, highway law enforcement, collection costs, and other costs.

Governments collected $101 billion in gas taxes, vehicle taxes, and tolls, so it is hard to argue that most of the spending on roads was a subsidy. While it is true that state and local governments spent about $29 billion of property taxes and general funds on roads, they also diverted $17 billion in highway user fees to transit and other non-highway uses. This means that total subsidies to highways were about $22.4 billion.

This probably overstates highway subsidies, as it may leave out some highway user fees. It certainly includes some costs that are not truly highway costs, such as the cost of state and regional transportation planning when that planning is more oriented to transit than highways. In addition, highways carry roughly a trillion ton-miles of freight each year, something often forgotten when calculating subsidies to the auto.

Table nine shows that total highway subsidies are slightly less than total transit subsidies. But since Americans travel nearly one hundred times as many miles by auto as by transit, subsidies to transit per passenger mile are almost exactly one hundred times greater than to autos.

Subsidies or not, all of the spending on roads put together amounts to less than 3 cents per automobile passenger mile. Yet we spend nearly 68 cents a passenger mile on transit, 49 cents of which is a subsidy.

For comparison, table nine also shows light-rail costs to be $1.37 per passenger mile. This is nearly fifty times greater than the cost of roads. Subsidies to light rail are nearly 250 times greater than to roads.

Table Nine
Highway and Transit Revenues and Spending in 2000
(dollars and miles in billions except last two lines in cents)
                                  Highway    Transit  Light Rail
Fares/Tolls & User Fees           $101.5       $8.7      $0.2
Capital Investments                 64.6        9.6       1.2
Operations, Maintenance, & Other    59.4       22.6       0.6
Total costs                        123.9       32.2       1.9
Net Revenues                      -$22.4     -$23.5     -$1.7
Passenger Miles of Travel          4,400         48       0.1
Cost in cents per passenger mile     2.8       67.5     136.5
Net revenue in cents per pm         -0.5      -49.2    -123.2

Source: Highway Statistics 2000, table HF-10 and American Public Transportation Association. Data may not add due to rounding. "Other" for highways includes law enforcement, administration, research, planning, and user fee collection costs.

Conclusions: Lessons for Urban Areas

Urban leaders, especially those in rail-wannabe regions such as Cincinnati, Louisville, Phoenix, and Seattle, should recognize that:

  1. After decades of annual subsidies in the tens of billions of dollars, urban transit still carries an insignificant number of trips in all but a few urban areas--and its importance is declining in most of those areas.
  2. Investments in transit have failed to halt or even slow the growing amount of auto driving. Even where transit is gaining market share, those gains are dwarfed by huge increases in auto driving.
  3. By itself, rail transit will not increase transit's market share or even total transit ridership. Growth in ridership and market share is due more to regional growth and downtown job concentration than to investments in rail transit.
  4. Light-rail transit is particularly wasteful, costing two-and-one-half to three times as much per passenger mile as other transit modes.
  5. Contrary to popular belief, transit subsidies are one hundred times greater than highway subsidies, averaging 50 cents per passenger mile and $2.50 per transit ride. Light-rail subsidies are nearly 250 times greater than highway subsidies.
  6. Growing urban congestion is partly a result of transportation planners short-changing auto travel as they divert at least $9 billion a year in highway user fees to unproductive transit systems.

Daily Rail Passenger Miles Per Directional Route Mile In 2000
(DRM in miles, Daily PM and DPM/DRM in passenger miles)
Urban Area-System          DRM      Daily PM   DPM/DRM
                       Commuter Rail
New York-Long Island RR    638     6,522,088    10,220
New York-Metro North       546     5,561,922    10,187
Chicago-NE Illinois        940     4,328,478     4,605
New York-NJ Transit        975     3,543,956     3,634
San Francisco-Peninsula    154       519,361     3,372
Boston                     710     1,959,028     2,759
Philadelphia-SEPTA         449     1,139,024     2,537
Chicago                    180       276,976     1,539
Pompono Beach              142       183,833     1,295
DC-MARTA                   373       438,663     1,176
San Diego                   82        92,746     1,131
DC-Virginia                178       185,255     1,041
Los Angeles                770       702,429       912
Dallas-Fort Worth           29        17,597       607
San Francisco-Altamont     172        61,593       358
Philadelphia-PDOT          144        42,056       292
Hartford                   101        16,256       161
New York-NJ Transit        975       153,054       157
Seattle                     79         8,249       104
Dallas-Fort Worth           23           513        22
                        Heavy Rail
New York-NYC Transit       493    22,794,272    46,236
Boston-MBTA                 76     1,298,423    17,085
San Francisco-BART         190     3,244,094    17,074
DC-Metro                   194     3,261,504    16,812
Atlanta                     92     1,379,425    14,994
Philadelphia-SEPTA          76     1,097,134    14,436
Chicago-CTA                206     2,747,943    13,340
New York-PATH               32       255,399     7,981
Miami                       42       301,607     7,181
Maryland-MARTA              29       193,533     6,674
Los Angeles                 32       204,737     6,398
Cleveland                   38       147,970     3,894
                        Light Rail
Boston                      51       432,673     8,484
St. Louis                   34       261,170     7,681
Los Angeles                 82       572,122     6,977
Portland                    65       385,918     5,937
San Diego                   97       515,805     5,318
Salt Lake City              30       136,088     4,536
San Francisco               70       298,063     4,258
Dallas-Fort Worth           41       164,924     4,023
New York-Hudson-Bergen       8        27,559     3,445
Sacramento                  41       125,664     3,065
Baltimore                   58       162,115     2,795
Denver                      28        77,322     2,762
Pittsburgh                  35        91,003     2,600
Philadelphia                69       168,599     2,443
Cleveland                   31        68,087     2,196
San Jose                    56        97,967     1,749
New York-Newark             14         1,780       127
                 Trolley Rail (Streetcars)
New Orleans                 16        36,235     2,265
Memphis                      6         2,828       471
Seattle                      4         1,283       321
Kenosha                      2           175        88
              Automated Guideway (Peoplemovers)
Detroit                      3         4,887     1,629
Miami                        9        12,076     1,342
Jacksonville                 4           639       160
Commuter Rail            7,660    25,753,077     3,362
Heavy Rail               1,500    36,926,040    24,617
Light Rail                 810     3,586,858     4,428
Streetcars                  28        40,521     1,447
Automated Guideway          16        17,602     1,100
All Rail                 8,517    59,802,010     7,021

DRM is directional route miles. Daily PM is passenger miles per day. DPM/DRM is daily passenger miles per directional route mile. Source: National Transit Database.

Thoreau Institute | Vanishing Automobile | Vanishing Automobile Updates