In Passenger Miles: 1990-1995
Analysis to Factor Out Double Counting
From Implementation of Light Rail
Between 1990 and 1995, St. Louis opened a light rail line that accounts for an inordinately large percentage of boardings (approximately 25 percent). During the same period other public transport systems opened new rail lines or expanded rail services, but in no metropolitan area was the rail ridership high enough in relation to existing services to significantly skew passenger "boarding" figures upward due to double counting (from new forced transfers between buses and rail).
Ridership in St. Louis had declined by nearly 50 percent from 1980 to 1990. The Bi-State Development Agency
undertook an aggressive program to coordinate bus and rail services, truncating many routes at light rail
stations. As a result, many trips that formerly required a single boarding
now require two boardings, as transfers are forced from buses to light rail. This effect is to exaggerate
the apparent increase in total transit boardings and per capita boardings.
Assuming a constant average trip length, the net increase in transit ridership over the period is
estimated at 5,000. This represents approximately 1/8 of gross light rail ridership. The actual
increase, however, could be less because the more circuitous trips
likely to have been caused by light rail
could have lengthened the average trip, which would mean that the increase in
passenger miles was greater than the increase (if any) in passenger journeys.
WENDELL COX CONSULTANCY
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