Recent Decline in Public Transportation Ridership: Analysis, Causes, and Responses

This research study provides a deep-dive exploration of the ridership losses being experienced by transit systems. This study was initiated before the COVID-19 pandemic and uses pre-pandemic data for its analyses. The objectives of this research are three-fold: 1. To understand the factors contributing to the pre-pandemic decline in transit ridership in the United States and quantify the relative contribution of each; 2. To identify strategies to mitigate or reverse those declines and to evaluate the effectiveness of those strategies; and 3. To develop recommendations for how public transportation agencies can respond to the ridership challenges they have been facing both pre- and post-pandemic. To accomplish these objectives, the authors first conducted a thorough literature review and developed ridership change hypotheses. The authors then combined detailed data with robust statistical methods in a top-down approach that considers ridership changes at the system level, the route level, and the stop level. Finally, the authors conducted a future strategies analysis by simulating two transit networks. The combination of these methods has allowed the authors to both consider the diversity of transit systems in the United States and take advantage of more detailed data that they have assembled for specific cities.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Prepublication Draft
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 153p
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01780881
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309093934
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 30 2021 3:43PM