As a necessary step in the analysis of possible future requirements for the New York City rapid transit system a model to estimate ridership on the system is developed. Analysis of historic data reveals that annual ridership on the system is positively related to employment in the Manhattan Central Business District (CBD) and to the level of transit service, measured in car-miles; it is negatively related to the number of autos registered in New York City and to the transit fare, measured in constant dollars. These four variables explain 80 percent of the year-to-year variation in ridership. A relationship for peak hour ridership was also developed. The elasticity of demand with respect to CBD employment is found to be +0.75, with respect to fare, -0.25, with respect to service, +0.13. Statistically, the relationship of subway ridership to fares and to CBD employment is very strong. The relationship to auto registrations is weaker and to service weaker still. Because the model developed relates to the economic health of the CBD and to the ownership of the automobile, it is particularly relevant to the current National goals of downtown revitalization and energy conservation. For example, it is shown that a resurgence in Manhattan CBD employment to 1969 levels would increase ridership by some 10 percent. Similar increases in transit would occur if a gasoline shortage eliminated the automobile as a CBD commuting mode. To explore alternative estimates of future ridership eight combinations of the independent variables are examined, including stable and declining CBD employment, stable and declining fares, and unconstrained and energy-constrained automobile ownership. The results suggest long-term changes in current ridership ranging from a 9 percent loss to a 34 percent increase. /Author/

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 47-49
  • Monograph Title: Planning and design of rapid transit facilities
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00178751
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309026911
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jul 29 1981 12:00AM