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U.S. Public Transit Reports Record Ridership in 2013
Alexis Petru, TriplePundit
Don’t tell the public transit naysayers who maintain that Americans will never get out of their beloved automobiles: Americans took a record 10.7 billion trips on public transportation last year – the highest annual ridership number in 57 years, according to the 2013 ridership report released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). In fact, public transit rides rose by 1.1 percent in 2013, while miles driven only increased 0.3 percent.
Why the record public transit ridership in 2013? Last year actually marked the eighth consecutive year that more than 10 billion trips were taken on public transportation systems, and the APTA says the 2013 figures were part of the increasing public demand for transit that has been growing since 1995.
“There is a fundamental shift going on in the way we move about our communities,” APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy said in a statement. “People in record numbers are demanding more public transit services, and communities are benefiting with strong economic growth.”..
(19 March 2014)
Related Transit Ridership—Debunking the Debunkers (Sort Of)
Fitch Ratings: Failure to Invest in Transit Could Hurt the Whole Economy
Angie Schmitt, Street Blogs
One of the country’s leading financial ratings agencies is warning that if America doesn’t change how it invests in transit, the whole economy could suffer.
After decades of steady growth, vehicle miles driven has stagnated in recent years. Americans are driving no more total miles now than in 2004.
“Public transportation investment strategies will need to transform if trends toward increased multifamily housing, declines in driving, and increasing public transportation usage continue over the long run,” Fitch said.
In an article published March 12, Fitch says there are signs of a major shakeup in U.S. transportation. The ratings group points to trends away from driving among millennials and an uptick in transit use. Fitch also cites record-breaking levels of multi-family housing construction, which represented almost one-third of new housing starts last year…
(27 March 2014)
Copenhagen Free Bike Rental
Kieran Toms, Copenhagenize
…The way it works is very simple: you fill in the form on our website, and we’ll get back to you if we’ve got a bike available (sadly we always end up with more requests than we have bikes.) You come to where our bikes are parked, near the City Hall, every day at 6pm, and we give you a bike. You can have it for between 1 and 3 days, and then you bring it back at the same time, same place. Simple. There is absolutely no obligation to donate, but often people do, and this money helps us pay for new parts (the ones we can’t find in the street) and locks.
We were delighted that our little scheme has been extremely successful. People love us. They are a bit surprised often as to why we’re doing it, and sometimes a little sceptical about whether it is actually free, but once they find out a little more they are very happy. We’re providing a little public service. Access to the city is a right, we believe, not a bonus. Copenhagen isn’t the cheapest city, but it’s got a lot to offer, both in terms of amusement, and also as a shining example of how all cities could be if they focussed more on people than on cars. And obviously, by bike, you can see more of it. We think that’s important…
(22 March 2014)
Evolution of the Bicycle
Thallis Vestergaard, Visual Artwork
Bus bike rack image via Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious/flickr. Creative Commons 2.0 license.