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Ciizens Want Teeth In Environmental Laws

Fight Global Warming: Create Jobs and Benefit the Economy

Climate Control Would Save Millions Of Lives

Build It And They Will Ride

Flush With Success

Recycled Glass Applications Expand

Mass Transit Critical to Chattanooga's Turnaround


 

  Build It And They Will Ride

U se of the nation's public transit systems was up in 1997. Ridership for 1997 increased 2.8 percent over 1996, with Americans using public transit over eight billion times, according to the American Public Transit Association.

"These terrific ridership gains are proof positive that if we invest in public transportation, more and more Americans will get on board," said William W. Millar, President of the American Public Transit Association. "That's good news for all of us. More people riding transit means fewer cars on the road, less congestion and cleaner air. It all adds up: increased funding will mean a better quality of life for all Americans."

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All forms of transit showed ridership increases in 1997, with the most significant increases in the fourth quarter. Light rail ridership was up 5.8% in 1997, growing 7.1% in the fourth quarter. That growth was paced by the new Dallas system and expanded service on existing light rail lines in San Diego and other cities. Bus systems serving areas with 250,000 to 500,000 population experienced a yearly increase of 5.4% spurred by the largest quarterly increase of all modes: 7.3%. Commuter rail, bus systems serving areas with over 500,000 population, and demand response service also showed annual increases ranging from 2.4% to 4.2%.

Major increases occurred for light rail systems in Dallas and Memphis and for rail systems in Los Angeles and between Philadelphia and Harrisburg. Most of the increases at these systems resulted from opening new extensions or expanding service during the last year.

Total bus ridership in the U.S. continued its comeback, rising 3.3% in 1997. For the fourth quarter, bus ridership was up 4.5%, compared to 3.3% in the third quarter, 2.5% in the second quarter, and 1.4% in the first quarter. For larger bus systems, Houston, New York City Transit, Orange County, CA, and St. Louis achieved increases of 5.0% or more.

Many smaller bus systems reported yearly increases of more than 10 percent. They include: Boone, NC; Burlington, WA; Charleston, SC; LAKETRAN in the Cleveland area; Detroit's SMART, Flint, MI; Fresno, CA; Great Falls, MT; Connecticut DOT's Hartford service; Las Vegas, NV; Foothill Transit and Santa Clarita Transit in the Los Angeles area; Lubbock, TX; Lyons, NY; New Castle, IN; Norfolk, VA; Orlando, FL; Owensboro, KY; Oxnard, CA; Peoria, IL; Redding, CA; Salem, OR; San Bernardino, CA; San Diego's Metropolitan Transit Development Board suburban service; Livermore, CA in the San Francisco area; San Juan, PR; State College, PA; Stockton, CA; Vancouver, WA; Visalia, CA; and Prince George's County in the Washington, DC area.
 


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