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Passenger Trains > Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%


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Date: 05/14/19 09:12
Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: Duna

"Nationwide transit ridership in the first quarter of 2019 was 2.6 percent below the same quarter in 2018, according to data released by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) last week. Transit’s most recent downward spiral began in 2014, and ridership over the twelve months prior to March 31 was 8.6 percent below the same twelve months four years ago.

Ridership is declining for all major forms of transit travel. First quarter bus ridership was 2.1 percent below 2018 while first quarter rail ridership declined by 3.2 percent. Commuter rail, light rail, heavy rail, and streetcars all lost riders..."

http://ti.org/antiplanner/?p=16036
(contains links to source data)

Interesting points made about the continuing decentralization of older cities. That does not bode well for rail transit or intercity passenger trains.

Wow, look at that Cleveland chart!



Date: 05/14/19 09:19
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: Duna

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I get "Error establishing a database connection"



Link now working.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/19 09:30 by Duna.



Date: 05/14/19 09:32
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: goneon66

do people feel more "unsafe" or "intimidated" riding public transit than they used to? 

crime stats can be ignored BUT what people see and how they react to it are important..........

66



Date: 05/14/19 09:34
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: Lackawanna484

The issues at NJ Transit will likely impact on the aggregate results.

Posted from Android



Date: 05/14/19 09:36
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: PRSL-recall

Guess my first ? would be is if this publication is in sync with other data presentation, seems like we just heard that a number of Amtrak routes saw increases.
Having read earlier material from Antiplanner they do appear to be anti rail from the get-go.



Date: 05/14/19 09:46
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: NGotwalt

Transit ridership seems to ebb and flow with the economy. Better economy, more people drive, poor economy, more people use transit. I’m currently not a transit rider, but that will change next month with a new job. $285 to park my car close to my work vs $95 to ride an express coach (not a transit bus) and park for free at the park and ride.
Nick

Posted from iPhone



Date: 05/14/19 09:47
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: Duna

PRSL-recall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Guess my first ? would be is if this publication
> is in sync with other data presentation, seems
> like we just heard that a number of Amtrak routes
> saw increases.
> Having read earlier material from Antiplanner they
> do appear to be anti rail from the get-go.




1)  Article is about transit, not Amtrak. If you read the article insted of guessing, you would have noticed that.

2) Article summarizes FTA data. Author O'Toole is just the messenger, as am I by posting the link to the accurate data.



Date: 05/14/19 09:48
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: joemvcnj

NJT's fare hikes and service cuts over the last 10 years have been massive, while the state had the 2nd lowest gasoline tax in the nation. Micro-economic forces induce non-commuters to use it less and commuters to find suburban jobs. IOW, their hand was forced.

However, Millenials live closer to or within cities to neighborhoods people couldn't wait to move out of in the 1960's and 1970's, while exurbs like Hunterdon County, are de-populating as older Baby Boomers retire or leave the state. Office parks are being abandoned (think Merck). NJT's loss is the NY-MTA-NYCT's "L" and "M" train gain. If anyone said the "L" train would run more often off-peak and be more packed than the "7" train 30 years ago, everyone would have laughed at him. The H1B Indian workers are more apt to be transit dependent, and have replaced most domestic IT workers.

Every state has their own situation. Downstate and upstate NY are two very different places, the latter more akin to Ohio rust belt  We know what is happening to rust belt cities: depopulating and de-industrializing going on for 40 years .Notice states like Montana with huge drop-offs in transit usage never had much to start with, or much population, which is also in secular decline

So I am not going to simply generalize it all as "death spiral"



Date: 05/14/19 09:58
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: Lurch_in_ABQ

https://www.cato.org/people/randal-otoole
 
"The Antiplanner, Randal O’Toole, is the author of several books and numerous policy papers on transportation and land-use issues."



Date: 05/14/19 10:02
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: Duna

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> NJT's fare hikes and service cuts over the last 10
> years have been massive, while the state had the
> 2nd lowest gasoline tax in the nation.
> Micro-economic forces induce non-commuters to use
> it less and commuters to find suburban jobs. IOW,
> their hand was forced.
>
> However, Millenials live closer to or within
> cities to neighborhoods people couldn't wait to
> move out of in the 1960's and 1970's, while exurbs
> like Hunterdon County, are de-populating as older
> Baby Boomers retire or leave the state. Office
> parks are being abandoned (think Merck). NJT's
> loss is the NY-MTA-NYCT's "L" and "M" train gain.
> If anyone said the "L" train would run more often
> off-peak and be more packed than the "7" train 30
> years ago, everyone would have laughed at him. The
> H1B Indian workers are more apt to be transit
> dependent, and have replaced most domestic IT
> workers.
>
> Every state has their own situation. Downstate and
> upstate NY are two very different places, the
> latter more akin to Ohio rust belt  We know what
> is happening to rust belt cities: depopulating and
> de-industrializing going on for 40 years .Notice
> states like Montana with huge drop-offs in transit
> usage never had much to start with, or much
> population, which is also in secular decline
>
> So I am not going to simply generalize it all as
> "death spiral"



It's only a flesh wound?

"Washington is the only state that saw more transit riders in the year prior to April 2019 than the same period four years ago."  That's one out of 51 (including D.C.).

Sound pretty death-spiraly to me. Montana's declines are in-line and don't sway the results.

Millenials are moving to suburbs, just like previous generations. Most older cities continue to hollow out.

Read the article.



Date: 05/14/19 10:20
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: Dcmcrider

WMATA's Metro (rail) is still the nation's third-largest rapid-transit system, after NYCTA and CTA, and it is ailing. WMATA's rail ridership peaked in 2008, and it's been skidding ever since, down from nearly 300 million annual trips to around 225 million in 2018. Buses have actually held their own, suffering much smaller losses in ridership.

WMATA's rail ridership slump is indicative of longer-term trends that the agency is powerless to stop--even if it manages to pull its head out of its nether-regions and cure its reliability problems. Ride-hailing apps, widespread tele-commuting, Capital Bikeshare, alternative work schedules (a lot of feds and federal contractors work 9- or 10- hour days and get either a Friday or Monday off), have all eaten in Metro's bread and butter: the daily commuter ridership base. Long headways off peak and on the weekends make the system less desirable for discretionary travel.

And a lot of new, dense development is occuring in DC proper and inner-ring suburbs where people will have shorter, walkable, and bikeable commutes. Amazon's HQ2 complex will have an enomous number of apartments in the immediate area. The agency is saddled with a legacy route structure conceived in the 1960s and 70s--and thus it's captive to assumptions about commuter travel patterns dating from that era.

Paul Wilson
Arlington, VA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/19 10:22 by Dcmcrider.



Date: 05/14/19 10:35
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: joemvcnj

Duna Wrote:

> It's only a flesh wound?
>
> "Washington is the only state that saw more
> transit riders in the year prior to April 2019
> than the same period four years ago."  That's one
> out of 51 (including D.C.).
>
> Sound pretty death-spiraly to me. Montana's
> declines are in-line and don't sway the results.
>
> Millenials are moving to suburbs, just like
> previous generations. Most older cities continue
> to hollow out.

I read the article and the analysis is incomplete. Factor in transit service levels, fares hikes, retail gas prices, and state gas taxes and correlate that with everything else, state by state. Consider who bankrolls Wendell Cox who won't look at that.
Millenials are not moving to suburbs. They are in fact the least likely of any generation (Baby Boomer, Gen X, Gen Y) to drive since the 1940's. There are dead highway office parks all over the place. Come take a look at who is populating regentrified city neighborhoods. 
Montana is far too tiny to sway any result. The whole state has one congressional seat. 
I would not call New York or Chicago or Denver as "hollowed out". Abandoned factories and office buildings are becoming condos with Millenials. They don't want to live in the sticks.  
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/19 10:42 by joemvcnj.



Date: 05/14/19 10:56
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: Duna

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> I read the article and the analysis is incomplete.
> Factor in transit service levels, fares hikes,
> retail gas prices, and state gas taxes and
> correlate that with everything else, state by
> state. Consider who bankrolls Wendell Cox who
> won't look at that.



The figures are what they are. It's just a report on FTA ridership figs. You can blame whoever you like.

Do you think the FTA is making the numbers up?  What does Wendell Cox have to do with this? He didn't do the research, your government did.

How would you stop the death spiral and increase transit ridership across America?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/19 11:00 by Duna.



Date: 05/14/19 11:02
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: joemvcnj

Duna Wrote:
>
> The figures are what they are. It's just a report
> on FTA ridership figs. You can blame whoever you
> like.
>
> Do you think the FTA is making the numbers up? 
> What does Wendell Cox have to do with this? He
> didn't do the research, your government did.

Numbers are merely Raw Data ("Are what they Are")  Explanatory material requires in depth analysis. The analysis is severely limited as to why - deliberately. 
FTA did not write article. "Anti-Planner" and Cato did. 

How would you stop the death spiral and increase transit ridership across America? >

Focus on each and every region, analyze, and don't think there is a simple and uniform remedy, one size fits all. I told you what happened in New Jersey. Someone else told you about the WMATA. That does not apply to Montana or upstate NY. All far beyond the scope of that article and competencies and agendas of its authors. 

Just from random Googling of areas I know very well:

LIRR's 2018 ridership of 89.8M highest in nearly seven decades

https://www.newsday.com/long-island/transportation/lirr-ridership-record-performance-eng-1.26270225

Yes, it has shifted around. More in Queens, less in Nassau, more in Suffolk. A lot of that is due to fare policies and things like Unlimited ride Metrocard onto Nassau County buses off the subway. Off course Cato is blind to all of this. 

"That number of customers was roughly 0.7 percent more than in 2017 — 89,158,840 — but didn’t top 1949 when the railroad carried a record 91.8 million riders. The railroad attributed the growth to New York’s improving economy, as well as big gains in noncommuters, including leisure travelers. Sales of one-way, round-trip and 10-trip tickets grew by 1.3 percent to 38.9 million, from 38.4 million in 2017. The railroad carried 50.8 million regular commuters, up 0.2 percent from last year."

Of course, Long Island is not Syracuse or Rochester, NY. It is invalid to be blending all these Metro areas together even in the same state to make a common conclusion. 

For Millenials that do move to the suburbs, it is to those served by transit:
"The railroad said economic and demographic trends suggest its ridership growth will continue “as a generation now entering the workforce shows a greater reliance on the railroad than prior generations.”'

Crime is NOT an issue:
"MTA officers patrol the LIRR, Metro-North Railroad and the Staten Island Railway. Overall crime fell 13 percent from 2017, from 271 crimes systemwide to 237. On the LIRR, major felonies fell by 46 percent, from 24 in 2017 to 13 in 2018. At Penn Station, major felonies fell 26 percent, from 23 in 2017 to 17 in 2018." 
 



Edited 10 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/19 11:35 by joemvcnj.



Date: 05/14/19 11:57
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

goneon66 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> do people feel more "unsafe" or "intimidated" riding public transit than they used to? 


Gee, I wonder.   And it doesn't even appear that these reports were "manufactured" by "FAUX NEWS."   

https://youtu.be/5gT5NULvRSk

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Homeless-surge-at-SF-airport-Police-contacts-13764148.php

https://www.smobserved.com/story/2018/12/06/crime/illegal-alien-charged-in-stabbing-death-of-goldline-communter-nov-27th/3738.html

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/seattle-mayor-criticizes-federal-way-for-giving-bus-tickets-not-shelter-during-snowstorms/
 



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/19 12:08 by CA_Sou_MA_Agent.



Date: 05/14/19 12:03
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: richs

One more from big city mass transit:

https://nypost.com/2019/05/11/this-is-new-york-citys-most-disgusting-subway-car/

Let's see, what is the common denominator:

S A N C T U A R Y  C I T Y 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/19 12:12 by richs.



Date: 05/14/19 12:09
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: bluesboyst

PRSL-recall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Guess my first ? would be is if this publication
> is in sync with other data presentation, seems
> like we just heard that a number of Amtrak routes
> saw increases.
> Having read earlier material from Antiplanner they
> do appear to be anti rail from the get-go.

Did you see the link in the website.  Cato Institute and the book by Randall O'Toole... Very anti-transit and passenger train.    Cato Institute = KOCH Brothers !!!!!!!



Date: 05/14/19 12:10
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: joemvcnj

richs Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> One more from big city mass transit:
>
> https://nypost.com/2019/05/11/this-is-new-york-cit
> ys-most-disgusting-subway-car/

Yep, but most of the 6,600 subway cars are not like that. 

Not so much a "Sanctuary City" but a city with  large homeless population and limited affordable housing, you know, from those regentrified neighborhoods the Millenials are moving into that most of us cannot afford their crazy rents. Rent control does not apply. Those are not Latinos in the video. Nice try though. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/19 12:21 by joemvcnj.



Date: 05/14/19 12:16
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: stash

Part of the decline is attributed to the Lyft/Uber competition. They siphon off riders.

Crime and filthy trains/stations is costing BART riders. Plus $25 million a year from fare cheats.

Posted from Android



Date: 05/14/19 12:17
Re: Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%
Author: SANSR

One comment posted to the article:
One Response to Transportation Policy Brief #3
Transit Death Spiral: 1st Quarter Riders Down 2.6%

  1. http://2.gravatar.com/avatar/5706052ad03397546f362f7e84142d45?s=40&d=mm&r=gJimKarlock says:May 14, 2019 at 1:03 amLess transit ridership is a good thing because:
    * It is saving money as transit costs about 4 times the cost of driving
    * Driving lets people get better jobs because cars can reach many times more jobs than transit.
    * It is reducing energy use since buses use MORE ENERGY per passenger-mile than cars.
    * It is reducing wasted time commuting since car commutes to work are about twice as fast as transit.
    And cars are more convenient.



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