The MTA’s record ridership is part of a nationwide trend toward public transportation use, with 10.7 billion trips made last year, according to a report released Monday.
The report by the American Public Transportation Association said the number of trips made on heavy, light and commuter rails and buses in 2013 was the highest in 57 years. Last year was the eighth in a row in which there were more than 10 billion trips within the country, with 2013 trips increasing 1.1%.
“Public transportation systems nationwide — in small, medium and large communities — saw ridership increases. Some reported all-time-high ridership numbers,” said Peter Varga, chair of APTA and CEO of a Grand Rapids, Mich., bus service.
The MTA’s New York City Transit in 2013 clocked in more than 2.6 billion subway trips, with 8.7 million average weekday trips — a 4.2% increase from 2012. There were nearly 812 million bus trips made last year.
Of the commuter rails, Metro-North had 83 million trips and Long Island Rail Road had 97 million rides last year.
APTA attributes the increase in ridership to an improved job market. Almost 60% of trips using public transportation are for commuting, the report said.
“Access to public transportation matters,” said APTA chief Michael Melaniphy. “Community leaders know that public transportation investment drives community growth and economic revitalization.”