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Los Angeles Public Transit Commuters is on the Decline

Dec 16, 2010 by Lisa Newton

Unlike three other major metropolitan areas, the Los Angeles Metro saw fewer mass transit commuters in 2009 compared to 2008, based on a new study just published by the US Census Bureau.

In the survey entitled Public Transportation Usage Among U.S. Workers: 2008 and 2009 (PDF), of the 50 largest metro areas in the USA, 10, including LA, experienced a statistically significant decline in the number of their public transportation commuters, and only three cities–Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA, Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH, and Washington-Arlington Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, experienced a statistically significant increase in the number of public transit commuters.

For LA, ridership was down by about 20,000 people or .2%. Not a big number, but one that’s still going in the wrong direction.

The other cities along with Los Angeles that are experiencing a declining ridership include:

  • Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC
  • Columbus, OH
  • Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI
  • Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX
  • Las Vegas-Paradise, NV
  • New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
  • Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
  • Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

Based on the number of Metro riders, LA is ranked 4th, but if you look at the percentage, LA comes in at 8th, tied with the Baltimore/Towson area.

All comparisons presented in this report have taken sampling error into account and are significant at the 90% confidence level.

Considering Los Angeles auto commuters are spending over $400 a month on gas and maintenance and losing 70 hours a year to traffic congestion, it’s high time to use the Metro more often.

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