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  • Transit Ridership Trends and Reasons

    Monday, August 12, 2019

    Steven E. Polzin, PhD. Senior Advisor for Research and Technology

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

  • Outline

     Transit in August 2019

     Underlying trends driving demand

     Why Ridership matters and what do we do?

    2

  • What is Happening?

    2012-2014

    2018 

    ?

    Transit ridership near 60 year high

    Millennials are different

    We passed peak VMT

    We are urbanizing and CBD’s are thriving

    Developers embrace transit

    Strong referendum success

    TNC’s address first- mile/last-mile issue

    2015-2017

    Millennials buy cars and move to suburbs

    Transit ridership loss accelerates in 3-year decline

    VMT and VMT/Capita returned to growth

    Growth and migration resume historic patterns

    System conditions, reliability, health care costs, etc. plague transit operators

    How much will that subway cost? When will Hawaii's rail system open? How is that new streetcar doing?

    TNC’s can cannibalize transit ridership

    Why do we need transit with CAV?

    3

    Waymo to Buy Up to 62,000 Chrysler Minivans for Ride-Hailing Service. NYT, May 31, 2018

  • Governing

    It's Been a Rough Year for Mass Transit With falling ridership and scrapped expansion projects, urban transit faces an uncertain future.

    June 2019 Commentary By Alan Ehrenhalt | Senior Editor

  • National Transit Ridership Trend

    0

    20

    40

    60

    80

    100

    120

    140

    160

    180

    200

    0

    2.5

    5

    7.5

    10

    12.5

    15

    17.5

    20

    22.5

    25

    19 18

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    19 22

    19 24

    19 26

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    19 70

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    19 96

    19 98

    20 00

    20 02

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    20 12

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    20 18

    Ri de

    rs hi

    p pe

    r C ap

    ita , T

    rip s p

    er Y

    ea r

    Tr an

    sit R

    id er

    sh ip

    , B ill

    io ns

    p er

    Y ea

    r

    Ridership (Billions) Ridership per Capita

  • Trends in Ridership and Service

    -30%

    -15%

    0%

    15%

    30%

    45%

    60%

    75%

    90%

    105%

    19 70

    19 72

    19 74

    19 76

    19 78

    19 80

    19 82

    19 84

    19 86

    19 88

    19 90

    19 92

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    20 00

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    20 08

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    20 12

    20 14

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    20 18

    Pe rc

    en t C

    ha ng

    e re

    la tiv

    e to

    1 97

    0

    National Ridership Relative to 1970 National Vehicle Miles of Services Relative to 1970

  • U.S. Transit Ridership Trend, Rolling 12- Month Count

    9,200,000

    9,400,000

    9,600,000

    9,800,000

    10,000,000

    10,200,000

    10,400,000

    10,600,000

    10,800,000

    2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

    2014

    2015

    2016

    2017

    2018

    Approximate 8% decline in four years

    Losing over a half million trips per day for the past 4 years

    Source: https://www.transtats.bts.gov/osea/seasonaladjustment/?Page Var=TRANSIT

    Th ou

    sa nd

    s

    https://www.transtats.bts.gov/osea/seasonaladjustment/?PageVar=TRANSIT

  • HART Transit Ridership Trend, Rolling 12-Month Count

    2017

    2018

    Approximate %17 decline in three years

    Losing 2,500 trips per day for the past 4 years

    Source: https://www.transtats.bts.gov/osea/seasonaladjustment/?Pa geVar=TRANSIT

    12,000,000

    12,500,000

    13,000,000

    13,500,000

    14,000,000

    14,500,000

    15,000,000

    15,500,000

    16,000,000

    16,500,000

    2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

    2014 2016

    2015

    https://www.transtats.bts.gov/osea/seasonaladjustment/?PageVar=TRANSIT

  • HART Monthly Ridership Trends

    600,000

    800,000

    1,000,000

    1,200,000

    1,400,000

    1,600,000 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

  • U.S. Context and Travel Trends

    2015 vs 2014 2016 vs 2015 2017 vs 2016 2018 YTD vs 2017 Months Source

    U.S. Population 0.8% 0.7% 0.7% 0.6% 12 Census

    Total Employment 1.7% 1.7% 1.3% 1.3% 12 BLS

    Real GDP 2.9% 1.6% 2.2% 2.9% 12 BEA

    Gas Price -29.3% -14.8% 15.1% 11.3% 12 EIA

    Registered Cars and Light Trucks 2.1% 2.4% 2.4% 2.1% 12

    Hedges Co.

    Light Vehicle Sales 5.8% 0.1% -1.8% 0.8% 12 BEA

    Count of Zero- Vehicle households -1.0% -1.9% -0.7% - - Census

    VMT 2.3% 2.4% 1.2% 0.4% 12 FHWA

    Public Transit Ridership -1.4% to -2.2% -2.1% to -1.8% -2.7% to -2.5% -1.95% to -1.97% 12

    APTA and NTD

    Amtrak Ridership (FY) -0.3% 1.9% 1.9% 0.0% 12 Amtrak

    Airline Passengers 5.3% 3.9% 3.5% 4.8% 12 USDOT, BTS

    http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Data_Elements.aspx?Data=1

  • Top 40 UZAs by 2018 Transit Ridership, Change 2014-2018 (Millions)

    Source: NTD Monthly Raw Database (May 2019)

    • •

    • •

    • •

    • •

    ••

    Seattle +19.081, +9.2%

    Portland -4.057, -3.5%

    Las Vegas -2.595, -3.8%

    Phoenix -5.608, -7.5%

    Denver +0.402, +0.4%

    Salt Lake City -2.103, -4.5%

    Miami -43.622, -25.8%

    Orlando -4.802, - 15.6%Tampa

    -6.016, - 19.1%

    Atlanta -17.606, - 12.6%

    Dallas -9.910, - 12.2%

    St. Louis -11.618, -22.9%

    Minneapolis -4.844, -4.9%

    Honolulu -4.885, -7.1%

    Riverside -5.188, - 20.7%

    San Diego -13.032, -11.7%

    Los Angeles -125.727, -18.7%

    San Francisco -14.461, - 3.1%

    Sacramento -7.154, - 23.3%

    Washington D.C -66.127, -14.0%

    Baltimore -18.991, -16.2%

    Philadelphia -38.454, -10.5%

    New York City -187.676, -4.3%

    Hartford -0.002, -0.0%

    Providence -3.242, - 15.4%

    Boston -47.218, -11.2%

    Cleveland -14.105, - 28.2%Detroit

    -1.543, -4.0%

    Columbus -0.138, -0.7%

    Cincinnati -2.759, - 13.1%

    Chicago -57.212, - 9.0%

    Milwaukee -10.657, - 24.7%

    Buffalo -2.443, -9.3%

    Pittsburgh -0.925, -1.4%

    Charlotte -6.147, - 21.5%

    Austin -4.257, - 12.5%

    Houston +4.065, +4.7%

    New Orleans -1.430, -6.2%

    San Antonio -4.223, -9.8%

    • San Jose -7.780, - 17.3%

    And we don’t even have automated

    vehicles yet!

  • Miami-Dade Transit

    -28.737, -26.20%

    Broward County Transit

    -10.551, -27.18%

    Central FL RTA -5.300, -17.60%

    Hillsborough Area Rapid Transit

    -3.435, -21.97%

    Jacksonville Transportation Authority

    -0.876, -6.86%

    Pinellas Suncoast Transportation

    Authority -2.684, -18.36%

    PalmTran -2.099, -17.15%

    Gainesville RTS -1.466, -13.51%

    South Florida RTA -0.076, -1.39%

    City of Tallahassee -1.230, -28.65%

    Top 10 Agencies in Florida by 2018 Transit Ridership, Change 2014-2018 (Millions)

    Top 10 agencies make up 92.6%

    of Florida ridership from

    2014-2018

    Source: NTD Monthly Raw Database

  • Hey Watson, Have we found

    the bottom yet?

  • Commuting Share 2017, Change from 2013

    Sources: ACS, WSJ

     8.6% of US HH have zero vehicles, down 0.5% since 2013 (about 5.9% of population)

     5.0% of US HH with workers have no cars

     In August 2018, < 30% of new vehicles were autos, (WSJ)

    SOV/SUV Crush Competition

  • What Impacts Ridership?

    Demographic, Economic and Land Use Factors Demand Factor

    Travel Behavior

    Transit Service Characteristics Supply Factor

    Transit Ridership

    Travel and Communications Options Supply Factor

  • What Underlies the Ridership Trends?

    Increased auto availability

    Aging

    Migration trends/gentrification

    Transportation network

    companies (Uber, Lyft)

    Telecommuting/e- commerce, etc.

    Bikeshare, carshare

    System safety/reliability

    Personal safety/cleanliness

    Gas prices

    Service supply

    Fares Weather

    P