Public Transit Ridership Declines in Bay Area, ITS Study Finds

A study by the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA Luskin was featured in a Mercury News article on declining public transportation ridership in the Bay Area. Researchers found that transit ridership in the area fell 5.2% between 2016 and 2018. “Compared to the rest of the country, the Bay Area is doing better, but it is on the decline,” senior research manager Jacob Wasserman noted. The study found that ridership has declined on transit lines that do not serve major job hubs but remains strong in locations such as downtown San Francisco. Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing apps may be contributing to the decline, but the impact is difficult to determine because these companies do not share detailed ridership data, the researchers found. The forthcoming study, which was also featured on ABC and NBC television affiliates in the Bay Area, proposes lowering ticket prices during off-peak hours and building more housing near transit hubs to increase ridership.


The Game Is Rigged, Manville Says

Assistant Professor of Urban Planning Michael Manville spoke to the Denver Post about the challenges facing the next general manager of the Regional Transportation District (RTD), which serves Denver, Boulder and surrounding areas in Colorado. The current general manager recently announced that he will step down, and the agency’s board of directors is looking for a replacement who will be able to reverse RTD’s declining ridership. Despite the addition of new commuter rail lines and bus rapid transit services, ridership has dropped nearly 5 percent over the last four years. According to Manville, the greatest challenge will be operating in a “metropolitan area that favors those who drive themselves around.” He warns, “The game is rigged. This is what your next director will face, no matter who he or she is.”