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There’s a Reason Transit Ridership is Rising in These 7 Cities
Despite national averages of shrinking transit ridership, seven United States cities have seen increased ridership. These cities have seen growth because of their efforts to improve or expand their bus services.
"In almost every American city, bus service carries the majority of trips, so it should be no surprise that cities have to improve bus service to grow ridership. Three of the seven cities with growing transit ridership have recently re-oriented their bus networks to meet changing demand: Seattle, Houston, and Austin restructured service to provide more frequency. Another three — San Antonio, Las Vegas, and Pittsburgh — have substantially increased service since 2013. Outside the 35 biggest transit regions, Columbus, Richmond, and Indianapolis are also gaining ridership after revamping their bus networks."
"Factors vary between cities, but shared challenges include the need to rehab and upgrade high-capacity rail lines while providing good substitute service during construction, as well as worsening street congestion. In large downtowns where Uber and Lyft are exacerbating traffic jams, widespread deployment of strategies to improve the speed and reliability of surface transit, including bus lanes and signal priority at intersections, should be an urgent public policy objective."
"The takeaway is not to prioritize one mode over another, but to align transit capital spending and service planning with a region’s transit needs. Transit agencies and cities must invest in new capacity where population and jobs will propel ridership gains. They also need to think at the level of the network — improving one or two transit routes in isolation is not going to cut it."
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