A closer at public transportation mode share trends

Steven E. Polzin, Xuehao Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Recent releases of census transportation information, American Housing Survey results, the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), American Public Transportation Association ridership statistics, and Federal Highway Administration vehicle-miles of travel data provide opportunities for researchers and policy analysts to glean information on travel behavior trends in the United States. Several data sources, specifically the NHTS, shed light on changes in transit use and mode share trends at the national level. This paper looks at transit mode share trends with both field count and survey data results. The research indicates that unlinked transit trips declined in the early 1990s followed by ridership growth through 2001, at which point ridership began declining again before rising in 2004. It is clear that transit has grown in terms of total trips, and its overall mode share has stabilized. As overall national travel growth has slowed, transit use appears to be fluctuating between positive and negative growth in terms of both absolute trips and transit's share of overall travel. The research also identifies the shortcomings and differences of the various data sources for determining transit use and mode share trends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-53
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Transportation and Statistics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Commuting
  • Mode share
  • NHTS
  • Transit ridership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Transportation


Dive into the research topics of 'A closer at public transportation mode share trends'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this