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Mass transportation systems in the United States include buses, trolleybuses, trams and trains, 'rapid transit' (metro/subways/undergrounds .etc.) and ferries. Intercity public transport is dominated by airlines and intercity rail. The number of miles traveled by vehicles in the United States fell by 3.6% in 2008, while the number of trips taken on mass transit increased by 4.0%. At least part of the drop in urban driving can be explained by the 4% increase in the use of public transportation 
Some North American cities arranged by size along the horizontal axis and public transportation use on the vertical axis. U.S. cities have lower public transit use than similarly sized Canadian and Mexican cities.
Most medium-sized cities have some form of local public transportation, usually a network of fixed bus routes. Larger cities often have metro rail systems (also known as heavy rail in the U.S.) and/or light rail systems for high-capacity passenger service within the urban area, and commuter rail to serve the surrounding metropolitan area. These include:
- Atlanta, Georgia (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) - heavy rail (runs 4 rail lines, total of 38 miles.)
- Baltimore, Maryland (Maryland Transit Administration) - heavy and light rail
- Boston, Massachusetts ("MBTA subway" or Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority or just "the T") - Commuter rail, heavy rail and light rail
- Buffalo, New York (Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Metro Rail) - light rail
- Camden - Trenton, New Jersey (New Jersey Transit River Line) - light rail
- Charlotte, North Carolina (LYNX, operated by CATS) - light rail
- Chicago, Illinois (The CTA Subway or the 'L'; Metra Commuter Rail) - heavy rail
- Cleveland, Ohio (Cleveland Rapid Transit or "The Rapid") - heavy and light rail
- Dallas, Texas (Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Trinity Railway Express) - heavy and light rail
- Denver, Colorado (Light rail operated by the Regional Transportation District) See also T-REX - light rail
- Houston, Texas (METRORail, operated by METRO) - light rail
- Jersey City, New Jersey - New Jersey Gold Coast area (Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, New Jersey Transit) - light rail
- Los Angeles, California (Los Angeles County Metro Rail) - heavy and light rail; Metrolink - commuter rail
- Miami, Florida/South Florida (Miami-Dade Transit) - heavy and light rail/(South Florida Regional Transportation Authority) - commuter rail
- Minneapolis, Minnesota (Hiawatha Line, operated by the Metropolitan Council/Metro Transit) - light rail
- New Orleans, Louisiana (Regional Transit Authority) - light rail
- Newark, New Jersey (Newark City Subway, New Jersey Transit) - light rail
- New York City (the New York City Subway, Long Island Rail Road, and Staten Island Railway operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (New York) - heavy rail
- New York City - Newark, New Jersey (Port Authority Trans-Hudson or PATH) - light rail
- Phoenix, Arizona - (METRO Light Rail) operated by Valley Metro - light rail
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority or SEPTA and the PATCO Speedline) - heavy and light rail
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Port Authority of Allegheny County or "the T") - light rail
- Portland, Oregon (MAX Light Rail, operated by TriMet) - light rail
- Sacramento, California (Sacramento Regional Transit District) - light rail
- St. Louis, Missouri (MetroLink) operated by the Bi-State Development Agency - light rail
- Salt Lake City/Ogden/Provo, Utah (FrontRunner, operated by the Utah Transit Authority) - commuter rail
- Salt Lake Valley, Utah (TRAX, operated by the Utah Transit Authority) - light rail
- San Diego, California (San Diego Trolley - light rail, Sprinter - commuter rail)
- San Francisco Bay Area ("BART" or Bay Area Rapid Transit, Caltrain, and "MUNI" or San Francisco Municipal Railway) - heavy, commuter, and light rail
- San Jose, California (Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority or VTA) - light rail
- Seattle, Washington (Link Light Rail and Sounder commuter rail operated by Sound Transit) - heavy and light rail
- Washington, D.C. (Washington Metro, operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) - heavy rail
About one in every three users of mass transit in the United States and two-thirds of the nation's rail riders live in New York City and its suburbs. (See Transportation in New York City.) Some railroads, such as the Long Island Rail Road in earlier times, maintained a separate fleet of specially configured electric railway cars to provide a rapid transit service on designated routes that was distinct from its regular passenger operations.
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American mass transit is funded by a combination of local, state, and federal agencies. At the federal level, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) provides financial assistance and technical assistance to state governments and local transit providers. From FY 2005 to FY 2009, the funding scheme for the FTA was regulated by the SAFETEA-LU bill, which appropriated $286.4 billion in guaranteed funding. The FTA awards grants through several programs, such as the New Starts program and Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) program.
On June 26, 2008, the House passed the Saving Energy Through Public Transportation Act (H.R. 6052), which gives grants to mass transit authorities to lower fares for commuters pinched at the pump and expand transit services. The bill also:
- Requires that all Federal agencies offer their employees transit pass transportation fringe benefits. Federal agencies within the National Capital Region have successful transit pass benefits programs.
- Increases the Federal cost-share of grants for construction of additional parking facilities at the end of subway lines from 80 to 100 percent to cover an increase in the number of people taking mass transit.
- Creates a pilot program for vanpool demonstration projects in urban and rural areas.
- Increases federal help for local governments to purchase alternative fuel buses, locomotives and ferries from 90 to 100 percent.
Advanced public transportation systems 
Advanced public transportation systems (or APTS) is an Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems, or IVHS, technology that is designed to improve transit services through advanced vehicle operations, communications, customer service, energy efficiency, air pollution reduction and market development.
See also 
- ^ http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/news_detail.cfm/news_id=12283
- ^ "The MTA Network: Public Transportation for the New York Region". Metropolitan Transportation Authority (New York). Retrieved 2006-05-17.
- ^ Pisarski, Alan (October 16, 2006). "Commuting in America III: Commuting Facts" (PDF). Transportation Research Board. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
- ^ SAFETEA-LU Implementation, Federal Transit Administration.
- ^ http://speaker.gov/issues?id=0031#13
Further reading