Why ask the above question? Because the American Public Transit Assn. recently burped out the pie chart below about ridership on a national level and I was curious how our local numbers might compare.
Here’s one take on the pie chart from the California Transit Assn., which raises some points about how the data was collected from agencies across the country.
I’ll be honest: I’m not entirely sure how to interpret the chart. My two small thoughts are: 1) The chart suggests that riding transit for a majority of riders is an ingrained habit and/or transit riders don’t have a choice, and; 2) There seems to be a healthy influx of new riders — with 30 percent riding continuously for a year or less.
Metro, in fact, posed this question in its 2010 rider survey: “How many years have you been riding Metro?” The answers:
Less than one (13%)
1-2 years (16%)
3-4 years (17%)
5+ years (54%)
I tend to think that these numbers could change greatly once more Measure R transit projects come online and we have more of a regional transit network in place to attract new riders. To name just three, I think projects such as the Westside Subway Extension, the Regional Connector and the Expo Line phase 1 and 2 have the potential to be game-changers in terms of getting people to try transit.
What do you think?