Public Transportation Use Highest Since 1950s

More than 50 fans gathered on 20th and Mission streets to celebrate the 49ers' playoff berth.

More than 50 fans gathered on 20th and Mission streets to celebrate the 49ers' playoff berth.

The NYT today reports on a study out by the American Public Transportation Association on the jump in 2013 in public transit use.

The trade group said in its annual report that 10.65 billion passenger trips were taken on transit systems during the year, surpassing the post-1950s peak of 10.59 billion in 2008, when gas prices rose to $4 to $5 a gallon.

The ridership in 2013, when gas prices were lower than in 2008, undermines the conventional wisdom that transit use rises when those prices exceed a certain threshold, and suggests that other forces are bolstering enthusiasm for public transportation, said Michael Melaniphy, the president of the association. Read more.

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9 Comments

  1. John

    I guess the local takeaway from that is that Muni is more crowded.

    Does anyone know of a city anywhere that has a lower farebox recovery rate than SF? I read somewhere it was about 22% – less than one quarter of that of London which gives free travel to children, the disabled and seniors over age 60. And which provides a far faster, safer, cleaner and more extensive service.

    Something is rotten at the core of Muni.

    • marcos

      Since 2000, the Muni has been run exclusively by the Mayor. Brown, Newsom and Lee’s corruption own Muni’s failure. They even got Prop G passed to “get a handle on labor” but even renegotiating contracts, have not realized improvements.

      • John

        The contract re-negotiations failed not because they did not nearly go far enough. That shows a lack of spine in the Mayoral office but if the Supes had been involved they would have been no more successful.

        What needs to happen is that Muni needs to be run as a business rather than as a welfare scheme for Muni workers with a few buses and streetcars thrown in as an afterthought.

        The fact that Muni under-performs other municipal-run transit systems, let alone the mostly privatized London system, shows that the problem is massive, fundamental and structural.

        • marcos

          When the corruption benefits you, you’re all cheery. You only oppose it when the corruption benefits others.

          • John

            I did not accuse Muni of corruption. I do not know if that is the case or not, and that would in any case depend on how you define corruption.

            However, Muni clearly isn’t working and the reasons for that go way beyond the fact that the Mayor runs it rather than the supervisors.

            What is your plan for fixing the worst public transit system in America? Letting Campos and Avalos run wild?

          • marcos

            Corruption is the denial of honest government service.

          • John

            What is honest about the lowest farebox recovery rate in the nation?

          • marcos

            The agency says that it will recover at an approximate ratio and then recovers at that approximate ration, that is the honest delivery of government service.

          • John

            I do not recall being asked to vote on whether those who do not ride Muni should pay 805 of its costs.

            Maybe I should break some windows somewhere, right?

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