Thursday, February 28, 2008


Public transit ridership is up substantially here.

When SEPTA hiked fares 12 percent last summer, transit-agency officials said they expected ridership to decline, as it had after prior fare increases.

But when gasoline prices jumped sky-high and stayed there, SEPTA ridership escalated by 30,000 daily trips (4 percent) from July 1 to Jan. 1 over the same period in 2006.

Regional Rail ridership rose 12 percent, or 13,000 daily trips, while city transit (trains and buses) increased by 17,000 daily trips or 2.6 percent.

The ridership renaissance continued last month, up 51,000 daily trips or 6 percent over the previous January - up 32,000 daily trips on city transit; up 19,000 daily trips on Regional Rail.

The headline is "SEPTA ridership up, despite fare increases," though a better headling would probably be "SEPTA ridership up, despite fact that system isn't all that good." Need to expand light rail/subways in the cities, drastically improve customer service and information for riders, and of course get rid of the stupid token system.