Talk:List of United States rapid transit systems by ridership

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject United States (Rated List-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject United States, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of topics relating to the United States of America on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the ongoing discussions.
 List  This article has been rated as List-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Trains / Rapid transit (Rated List-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Trains, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to rail transport on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion. See also: WikiProject Trains to do list
 List  This article has been rated as List-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
Note icon
An editor has requested that an image be added to this article. Please work with the Images task force to add a suitable image to this article.

Some systems shouldn't be here[edit]

There are a number of systems on here that don't belong, including the Houston METERO Rail, San Francisco Muni Metro, Portland MAX, St. Louis Metrolink, Dallas DART, Utah TRAX ... basically, anything that's on List of United States Light Rail systems by ridership shouldn't be here, as the categories are mutually exclusive. --Jfruh (talk) 12:30, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Integrated with light rail? and the Tren Urbano[edit]

Just curious why PATH and PATCO don't get the "integrated with light rail" asterisk. Both have shared stations with not one but two light rail systems (PATH with the Newark Subway and the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, PATCO with the Philly subway-surface lines and the River Line). On the other hand, there isn't a single fare regime shared by these systems, so perhaps they're not truly integrated?

Also, would anyone object to adding San Juan Tren Urbano to the list? I'm actually kind of surprised it's not in the APTA report, but surely some stats could be dug up... --Jfruh (talk) 01:33, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Sure. It is a rapid transit system in the United States. The only reason I haven't added it is lack of data.--Loodog 02:24, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Same goes for Baltimore. If you're factoring in the Light Rail numbers for LA, why not do so for Baltimore?-- (talk) 07:41, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

We're not including light rail boardings for LA.--Loodog (talk) 12:53, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Should the Metromover be included in the Miami Metrorail numbers as they work together as one? --Comayagua99 (talk) 14:52, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

No, because it's not heavy rail transit. These are only heavy rail numbers here. --Jfruh (talk) 02:04, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Are they actually integrated? I'm fairly certain that Baltimore, for example, has entirely separate numbers for their Subway and Light Rail lines. Isn't that the issue the asterisk is meant to deal with: some sources being the combined numbers of the two lines? --Rob (talk) 16:03, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

It depends on what you mean by "integrated." There's full fare integration between Balitmore's subway and light rail, for instance, though it's not as integrated as in Boston or LA, where there is a common line-color branding scheme. All the numbers you see here and on the corresponding light rail wikipedia list are for the appropriate modes, though that may not be true of numbers you'd see elsewhere. I think asterisk is mostly to make it absolutely clear that these numbers are for heavy rail only, by acknowledging that there are other lines in the city that we aren't discussing, if that makes sense. --Jfruh (talk) 19:53, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

PATH is in no way integrated with the HBLR. They're completely different systems, run by different agencies (HBLR is NJ Transit, PATH is run by the Port Authority of NY & NJ) and there is no fare interchange. They merely have 2 or 3 nexus points, but that's no different then a bus that stops at a subway station. I'm removing the asterisk. Armandtanzarian (talk) 18:55, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Detroit People Mover[edit]

Should the Detroit People Mover be included on a list of rapid transit systems? It doesn't seem to me fit with the definition of rapid transit (see APTA's definition here). Maybe there should be another list of people mover systems in the United States with Detroit, Miami, Morgantown, etc.--Hillrhpc 15:19, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

It is really an automated guide system, but since its trains appear with high frequency and with complete grade separation from traffic, it also qualifies as rapid transit.--Loodog 05:23, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
It's worth noting that Kelana Jaya Line in Kuala Lumpur and the Vancouver SkyTrain are built with the exact same technology, but both appear on the global List of rapid transit systems. It's true that due to its short length, the People Mover is definitely an outlier among the systems listed here, but I think it's more like one of these systems than the others. --Jfruh (talk) 21:39, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
If the Detroit People Mover is included, it seems like the Miami Metromover should also be included. Using numbers from the Wikipedia page, the Metromover has 6,432 riders per mile per weekday. Misterfranklin (talk) 01:30, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
The question is not how many riders or riders per mile the systems get, but of what the mode of the system is -- heavy rail (metro/subway/what have you --- in a local transit context, Wikipedia gives this category the unfortunately squishy term "rapid transit"), light rail, or people mover. This list is for the first category, while the Miami Metromover is in the last. The Bombardier system that the Detroit People Mover uses is an intermediate-level system, but it generally is considered a true heavy reail metro-type system, despite the fact that the specific version in Detroit happens to have "people mover" in its brand name. --Jfruh (talk) 18:55, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Staten Island opening date[edit]

1971 seems like a misleading opening date for the SIR -- that's just the date the MTA took over its operations, which remained otherwise essentially unchanged. Passenger rail has been run along that line since 1860. Maybe a good starting date would be 1925, which was when the line was electricified and rapid-transit rolling stock began to be used? --Jfruh (talk) 21:45, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Move back[edit]

I moved the page back. Most links went here and merely calling it a list of United States RT systems ignores the primary ranking: ridership.--Loodog 11:29, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Opening date for Boston and NYC[edit]

How do we determine the opening dates for Boston and New York City? It appears to use the first IRT Subway for NYC and the Main Line El for Boston, but New York had Els that predate the subway that are still in use, and none of the Main Line El is used by rapid transit anymore- the subway section was replaced in 1905 as I recall and the last elevateds were removed in 1987. (It's the axe paradox, I suppose, as the Orange Line is the direct continuation of the Main Line El, but it has been entirely relocated over time) -- (talk) 22:57, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

I've restored the classic 1904 date for NYC. None of the Manhattan and Bronx electric el trackage has been in existence since 1973, and the original steam el service in Brooklyn was arguably more like interurban rail at the time -- Coney Island was essentially rural in the 19th century. In any case, the last previous date of 1868 makes little sense, as Ely Beach's system was never in revenue service. --John Cowan (talk) 23:38, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
This still makes no sense, Wikipeople of the Distant Past. If you put Chicago at 1892 (the first rapid transit predecessor of the CTA, an elevated), then you have to do the same for NYC which goes back to what? 1870? If you insist upon the 1904 IRT subway date for NYC, then you have to put the Chicago date at 1944 or whenever the first of the two subway lines opened (State St? Dearborn St? Don't remember.) Can't have it both ways. Rapid Transit is Rapid Transit regardless of distance from the surface of the earth or technology. OTOH, I think Boston's date is right - the Tremont St Subway was certainly rapid transit even if it was (and is) run with streetcars. The Main Line El used that tunnel for a while starting in 1901 until its own tunnel under Washington St was completed, but that's not really relevant - Boston's rapid transit system goes back to 1897. --plaws (talk) 17:16, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Third quarter[edit]

Data is up for third quarer 2007. If someone has the time, the page (and the graph) needs updating.--Loodog (talk) 14:28, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Awesome, looks like the Tren Urbano is finally on the list! I might have time to update in the next day or two ...--Jfruh (talk) 23:46, 6 December 2007 (UTC)


Can someone please add the Minneapolis Hiawatha line to the list? I don't know how. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:09, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Nope, the Hiawatha Line is light rail, not rapid transit, meaning it will be found under List of United States light rail systems by ridership.--Loodog (talk) 18:27, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Many of these figures are wrong[edit]

For instance: NYC has 229 route miles, not 656, which is it's track miles. The MBTA has 38 route miles, not 66 track miles. If we are going to compare route miles, we need to make sure all of these figures are route miles, not track miles, and then change the page accordingly please.

Ofsevit (talk) 21:12, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

  • NYC, Boston, Chicago - all fixed! Thanks for pointing out the mistakes. All that's need now are some better references for NYC, Chicago, and San Juan. --Millbrooky (talk) 00:35, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Detroit People Mover vs. Miami Metromover[edit]

I realize that the Detroit People Mover is a borderline case, especially because its route is so small. However, it is built with the exact same trains and technology as the Vancouver Skytrain and the Scarborough RT, which are generally considered heavy-rail rapid transit systems.

The Miami Metromover, in contrast, has smaller vehicles and a lower carrying capacity. It's firmly in the "people mover" category. --Jfruh (talk) 23:25, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

  • The Detroit People Mover is a people mover, it doesn't matter what type of trains they're using, it's a people mover. Plus, the Detroit People Mover has a much smaller track at 2.9 miles versus Miami's 4.4 miles, much less stations, Detroit: 13 stations, Miami: 22 stations, Detroit has one line, Miami has three lines, plus Miami's daily ridership is also much higher than Detroit's, Detroit: 5,800, Miami: 30,250. If the Miami Metromover can't go on this list, then neither can the Detroit People Mover.--Comayagua99 (talk) 01:29, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
I admit that Detroit's a marginal case, but I think the type of train matters quite a bit. The train type and the tracks are what define the type of system, to my view, rather than the particular branding the city has chosen. It should be added that the capacity of the Detroit system is significantly higher than its actual usage. I'd like to hear other people who have contributed to this article offer their opinon on the subject. As a rubber-tired system with tiny vehicles, the Miami Metromover cannot be considered to be like the other systems here; but if Detroit were taken off, I could see the logic to it. --Jfruh (talk) 02:13, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
I can understand the Miami Metromover not being listed here since this is a list for rapid transit, even though it is like an extended part to the Miami Metrorail since they both work together, but if the Detroit People Mover is listed here than by default, the Miami Metromover needs to be on here too. --Comayagua99 (talk) 03:16, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Integration has nothing to do with it. Many of these systems are integrated with light rail transit systems whose numbers aren't counted here. The placement on the list should be determined solely on one question: what is the mode of the system. Is it heavy rail rapid transit or not? The Metromover isn't; Detroit is a borderline case. The two systems are quite different. --Jfruh (talk) 14:33, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Both systems are exactly the same under my eyes: people movers. You can put whatever you want on this list though. --Comayagua99 (talk) 14:53, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I'll play devil's advocate and make some arguments against inclusion of Detroit:

  1. Vehicle type does not define the system type. AirTrain JFK uses the same type of vehicles as the Vancouver SkyTrain, but is classified as a people mover.
  2. Detroit is listed in the article People mover; Detroit is not listed in the article List of rapid transit systems.
  3. The Detroit People Mover's own article classifies itself as a people mover.
  4. The APTA report classifies every public transit system with a 2-letter type code, e.g. MB for bus and LR for light rail.[1] Every single system in this article's list is classified as HR for heavy rail, every system except the Detroit People Mover. Detroit is classified with AG for automated guideway. There are only 3 other systems classified AG in the APTA report: Jacksonville, Miami, Newark.

--Millbrooky (talk) 02:49, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

List sort[edit]

There are two columns the sortable table fails to sort: route miles and ridership. I'm sure that it's the footnotes that are causing the problem. So, what to do with them? --Millbrooky (talk) 01:25, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

That's a good question. Try seeing what the List of tallest buildings by U.S. state does differently that lets it sort with footnotes.--Loodog (talk) 02:34, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
No footnotes in a column with numbers. --Millbrooky (talk) 02:50, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Could add another column for the footnotes and call it "sources".--Loodog (talk) 15:13, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

I suggest moving -- or even deleting-- the footnotes from the "Route Miles" column as well. A quick check shows that these figures can be found on each transit system's own WP page. PRRfan (talk) 16:06, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

This entire list can be found on each transit system's own page.--Loodog (talk) 16:11, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Ridership numbers, yes; APTA ridership numbers, no. --Millbrooky (talk) 16:32, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
My point was just that this list exists for a reason, and the listing of track mileage helps serve that reason.--Loodog (talk) 16:45, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, keep the miles; I was simply suggesting moving/deleting the footnotes so that the table could be sorted by mileage. PRRfan (talk) 17:13, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
What about adding another column to the right for all the refs like in Governor of Missouri? --Millbrooky (talk) 21:56, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

WMATA figures[edit]

The figure for the average weekday daily ridership for DC is totally off. It should be around 750,000... Metro predicts having almost 1 million daily riders by 2030. I think the APTA made an error in its calculations. Epicadam (talk) 08:03, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

A few points
  1. You're only showing ridership for the month of May, as opposed to average over the entire first quarter; May may be a month of lower ridership.
  2. wmata probably has different criteria for counting rideship than APTA.
  3. APTA has been estimating the DC ridership at about a million for a few years now, so any mistake is one they make consistently.
--Loodog (talk) 14:49, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
I bolded the key the key part in Loodog's comment above. The APTA data uses unlinked trips as it's method of counting with the data, I'm sure, coming from the transit agencies themselves. From the APTA website here:

Unlinked Passenger Trips is the number of passengers who board public transportation vehicles. Passengers are counted each time they board vehicles no matter how many vehicles they use to travel from their origin to their destination.

So in a multi-line system such as in DC, any passenger who transfers from one Metro line to another Metro line is counted twice. This also explains why the NYC Subway's numbers are so high, too.
Loodog, maybe we need to do a better job explaining and emphasizing unlinked passenger trips? --Millbrooky (talk) 14:58, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Well then, I'd call their asses on it. There's absolutely no way for somebody to know how many times I switch trains. I'd love to see their methodology because Metro riders swipe their card once to enter the system and again to get out. How are they supposed to know if I took 2 trains or 3 to get where I was going? I think to have data that opposes every statistic that WMATA releases is ridiculous and a public disservice. The article says figures are provided by APTA unless otherwise noted. Well, this is time for an "otherwise noted". Epicadam (talk) 16:11, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
As a second thought. Does anybody know why we're using APTA numbers as opposed to the figures coming from the transit agencies themselves? APTA is a trade group that promotes public transport and tries to secure public support and financing for its members' projects. They therefore have a political reason to inflate their ridership numbers to make it appear that the systems are far larger than they actually are in order to secure funding, etc. Epicadam (talk) 16:17, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
This one I can answer. Local transit agencies have even more reason to inflate numbers. If APTA inflates, there's more funding for public transit. If local agencies inflate, they personally get more money. Compare numbers and you'll see that the majority of the time, APTA's numbers are lower than local ones.
But the main reason we use APTA number is consistency of methodology. APTA is the only single source I'm aware of that has numbers for the majority of systems.--Loodog (talk) 16:30, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Because the local agencies like to boast about their high ridership numbers just as much as the APTA and everyone else. e.g. Houston kept advertising 45,000 daily riders when APTA data has never shown much more than 40,000; Salt Lake City overstated their ridership by almost a third, dropping from 60,000 to 40,000 when they changed counting methodologies. I know what you mean, how do we know if someone traveling from Franconia–Springfield to near Metro Center transferred to the Yellow Line or stayed on the Blue line for the entire journey? You'll have to ask WMATA how they estimate that number. Often, the APTA is the only reliable data source for many of the smaller (and some of the larger) rail transit systems. The biggest advantage to using the APTA as a source is that we can get ridership data from all the transit agencies for the same time period. I wish we could use ridership data from the transit agencies themselves, but in my opinion, it would only make the data in the table less reliable. --Millbrooky (talk) 16:42, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
I completely understand consistency, but I think counting ridership that way is a poor way of measuring how many people use that system every day. I can't speak for everyone, but I think that is by the far the more important number. Not how many trains they use or long it takes to get there. If the APTA numbers are going to be used, then it definitely has to give the explanation about "unlinked passenger trips" otherwise the numbers appear absolutely non-credible.Epicadam (talk) 16:41, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Since the main purpose of this article is a comparative ranking, overcounting of riders is fine, as long as its consistent. Of course, it isn't. Every single-line system on the page is underrepresented compared to multi-line systems. I propose something like "**" symbol to indicate system is a single-line system so ridership might seem lower than it is.--Loodog (talk) 16:45, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Since a decision cannot be made as to what data is most valuable, I'd say the most important thing right now is to make sure the data is consistent between pages -- it says 1.09 million on the US Transit page and 760,000 on the Metrorail page.

Mixing Statistics[edit]

The ridership statistics seem to be based on APTA's "heavy rail" definition, but the mileage numbers are drawn from a different (agency-specific) definition. One obvious example is the SEPTA mileage number. It appears that the mileage number cited is what appears as "subway (elevated)" on SEPTA's website, but APTA lists a much higher number for SEPTA's mileage for "heavy rail" (74.9 directional miles = 37.5 route miles). Perhaps the tables' statistics should all be compiled from APTA [2] --Arturoramos (talk) 21:05, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Quite right. The mileage stats weren't done terribly consistently, which they should be. Otherwise we're dividing an APTA numerator by a local agency's denominator.--Loodog (talk) 21:19, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Somehow I never saw that page, but, is their data reliable, or is it just old. E.g. They show 75.8 directional route miles = 37.9 route miles for St. Louis when St. Louis clearly has ~46 route miles after an 8-mile extension back in Aug 2006. --Millbrooky (talk) 22:23, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Their track and station info for WMATA is also off. -epicAdam (talk) 17:49, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
It might just be ok, then. While you can count linked trips, unlinked trips, trips over a certain distance, peak time, nonpeak, etc... as different ways to get ridership stats, there aren't a lot of ways to exaggerate or report track length.--Loodog (talk) 18:20, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Good catch Millbrooky. Yes it seems that APTA is simply recycling National Transit Database statistics (at a very slow pace) and thus they are outdated. The National Transit Database has comprehensive annual reporting as well as less comprehensive monthly reporting. The monthly reporting shows the Bi-State Development Agency juming in directly operated light rail vehicles from 34 in July 2006 to 54 in August 2006 and 56 in January 2007. Unfortunately there does not appear to be monthly track mileage data and the 2006 report clearly is outdated. As far as fudging track mileage, I think it is important to have a uniform source of data with uniform definitions. I think the transit agencies label their systems in non-uniform ways, i.e. "subway" could mean light rail or heavy rail. The APTA and NTD statistics are reported by uniform definitions of type of transit, i.e. light rail, bus, heavy rail, etc. Also route miles are not very informative as routes can overlap over the same tracks and certainly a 4-track route over 10 miles is a greater infrastructure investment than a one-track route over 20 miles, yet route miles would not capture this. Thus I think track miles would be a better measurement of system size.
-- Arturoramos (talk) 16:57, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Consolidate tables[edit]

We have two tables in this article: 1) the main ridership table and 2) the ridership per mile table. Since we're now using a sortable wikitable here and elsewhere, I suggest we merge the two tables similar to my example below. Furthermore, I could create a template to auto-calculate the ridership per mile stat. Thoughts? --Millbrooky (talk) 20:42, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Rank System Largest city served Daily ridership Date Route miles Ridership per mile Opened Notes
1 New York City Subway New York City 7,795,600 1Q 2008 229 34,042 1904 [1]
2 Metrorail (Washington, D.C.) Washington 950,300 1Q 2008 106.3 8,940 1976 [2]

Tres chic. I like it. -epicAdam (talk) 20:46, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Very nice and far more concise.--Loodog (talk) 03:31, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Would anybody be opposed to moving the "Date" column either left 1 position or right 2 positions? As I mentioned above, I'm looking at creating a template that will auto-calculate the ridership per mile stat, and moving the column would greatly simplify the template. --Millbrooky (talk) 04:02, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Definitely NOT left 1, since that's the most important quantity in the list. Right 2 is fine.--Loodog (talk) 04:06, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Loodog -epicAdam (talk) 04:29, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
Moving the date right 2 columns seems good to me as well. ~~WinstonKap

Suggest using yearly ridership statistics, instead[edit]

I would like to suggest switching this and related lists to using yearly ridership statistics instead of the quarterly statistics currently employed. I have two reasons for suggesting the change: 1) it would significantly reduce the required quarterly maintenance of the list, and 2) it would eliminate seasonal variability from the numbers. --Millbrooky (talk) 17:05, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Support per above. -epicAdam(talk) 17:43, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Support makes sense to me. --Jfruh (talk) 19:42, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Support I agree as well. This should be changed. The Interloafer (talk) 15:39, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
While as noted above I support this proposal, one thing does occur to me, which is that there will now be significant lags in getting numbers for new and/or expanded systems. We wouldn't be able to get annual Seattle Link numbers for another six months, or numbers for Dallas and Portland that reflect new lines for longer, for instance. --Jfruh (talk) 16:53, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Integration with other modes (again)[edit]

There's been a slow trend on this page and the corresonding Light Rail page to remove the little asterisk denoting integration between a light and heavy rail system unless the two are very strongly integrated (i.e., same agency, fare union, etc.). While I understand this impulse, I think that it's removing data that is interesting and relevant. PATCO and the River Line may be operated by different agencies and not share a fare structure, but they do share a station and people transfer from one to the other (in fact, the River Line was designed as it was with the intention that PATCO would be its passengers route into Philly) which generates network effects. Muni and BART in particular are complementary systems in SF, even though they're separately operated.

I'm wondering if there is a different way to phrase this footnote other than "integrated" that would allow for a broader definition. Perhaps "Transfer available to other transit rail mode"? Or we could break it down to "Transfer available to light rail," "Transfer available to commuter rail," and "Transfer available to people mover" (for Miami)? --Jfruh (talk) 16:04, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

"Largest city served"[edit]

I just reverted an attempt to change BART's city served from San Francisco to "Bay Area," but I wonder if this column isn't ripe for a rename to "region served" or something like that. There's already a bit of weirdness with PATH being identified with NY and PATCO with Philly, even though that's not quite right -- they serve to link the NJ suburbs with those cities, rather than to get around the cities themselves. And once (if) the BART extension to San Jose opens, we'll be honor-bound to put San Jose as the largest city served by the system, which also doesn't sit well with what I think most people would think of as the focus of that system. --Jfruh (talk) 03:23, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

I agree that those are bizarre cases. I am not sure how you'd do them, however. If you did "Bay Area" that's overly broad since it doens't include any of the South Peninsula. If you did "Philly-South Jersey" that's also fairly broad but "Philly-Camden" would be too narrow. I think the best pay to do it might be "major area served" and for lines that are meant to connect another area (state/county) to a big hub like PATCO or BART then maybe we should just list the largest cities? Not fully sure... the nice thing about the current system is not having to use our judgment :) --gren グレン 06:11, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

In the case of BART, which is an acronym for Bay Area Rapid Transit, it would be best served if San Francisco was changed to Bay Area.

NYC Discrepancy?[edit]

I apologize if I am not that well-informed, but I noticed a discrepancy in the ridership #'s for the NYC Subway between two sources. While the APTA source indicates that the NYC Subway achieves a weekday ridership of 7,791,000 for Q4 2009, the figures from the MTA itself indicates that the average weekday subway ridership is only 5,086,833 for 2009 [3]. I don't think the subway usage would change enough in the other 9 months to create such a difference, s is there another reason for the discrepancy? Thanks. -Multivariable (talk) 15:06, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

APTA (and this Wikipedia article) uses unlinked trips for their data versus the linked trips likely published by the MTA. For example, a transit rider that uses 3 subway lines to get to their destination would generate 1 linked trip and 3 unlinked trips. The discrepancy is most pronounced on multi-line systems like New York versus single line systems like Miami. --Millbrooky (talk) 22:31, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

The Asterisks[edit]

On some of the lines the Asterisk is misleading. BART for example is in no way integrated with the MUNI system, if one wishes to ride BART as well as MUNI then one would need to purchase a separate ticket to ride each system. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:44, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Use of weekday ridership vs. daily ridership[edit]

I was wondering if there was a reason the list currently uses only weekday ridership instead of overall daily ridership. The APTA quarterly reports also include the total ridership for each quarter. The average daily ridership can be easily computed by dividing the total ridership by the number of days in the quarter. This is one of the few lists I've seen that compares systems based strictly on weekday ridership; do weekends just not count as "real" days? -Multivariable (talk) 00:57, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Third Quarter Numbers[edit]

The citation URL does not appear to be working, but the link to the first quarter APTA numbers is just fine. Also, how is it that the numbers were so wrong from first quarter? Ridership on the MBTA didn't shoot up by 200k overnight like that. -epicAdam(talk) 01:41, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

I fixed the link. — Train2104 (talk • contribs) 02:46, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Question about defining rapid transit[edit]

I see that this page seems to be using the definition of rapid transit on Wikipedia. However, I think this is a confusing definition of rapid transit. Why should only rail services be defined as rapid transit? For example, some bus rapid transit systems are grade-separated. Aaron Antrim (talk) 20:07, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Hi. This list uses American Public Transportation Association data to define rapid transit, which they call "heavy rail". In order to maintain consistency and comparable statistics, we stick to that definition and exclude other types of transit systems from this list. Best, epicAdam(talk) 03:25, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps the page title should be changed to say "heavy rail systems by ridership" to clear up this confusion? As it currently stands, the title implies that medium rail technologies would show up here too. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:31, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

APTA ridership data is way off[edit]

I'm not sure how/where the APTA gets their statistics, but they are no where near accurate. For example, the latest report states the NYC Subway's weekday ridership is 8.4 million, while the MTA's website reports last year it was less than 5.3 million. And this is the only one that is way off. All the data needs to be updated with stats from the individual transit agencies, since the APTA data just doesn't make sense. –Dream out loud (talk) 16:07, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

APTA uses a metric that it calls "unlinked passenger trips," and I believe that people who change lines count as two trips? At any rate, using agency numbers seems like a recipie for a list that will be completely useless, as differen agencies will use differen metrics measured in different ways. --Jfruh (talk) 19:36, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
Completely agree with Jfruh. Every agency has a different way of counting trips/passengers. The APTA provides a very specific and reasonable standard to measure transit usage across all different types of systems. The page note(s/d) that the data are from the APTA and count unlink passenger trips. Best, epicAdam(talk) 22:43, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

Annual Ridership vs. Average Weekday[edit]

Hi All. I think we should include the annual ridership numbers either in addition to or instead of the average weekday numbers. This suggestion came up a few years ago and there was support for a change, but nothing happened. The APTA provides the data and it seems silly not to include it if someone is looking for total number of trips instead of just a weekday average. Thanks, epicAdam(talk) 14:26, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Great idea, let's add a second chart for total riders.--Comayagua99 (talk) 14:03, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

MBTA Lines[edit]

Would the green line be rapid transit or light rail? Cjfgl (talk) 16:18, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Green Line is light rail. –Dream out loud (talk) 16:13, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, it's not only a classic example of "subway-surface" light rail, it's actually the world's first. oknazevad (talk) 17:06, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Including grade-separated light rail[edit]

In reading our own definition of rapid transit, light rail is considered "rapid transit" so long as it is grade-separated. Therefore, why not include light rail systems in this list that are grade separated? This would include Boston's Green Line, LA Metrorail, Pittsburgh T, Dallas' DART, etc. These services are just as frequent, high capacity and grade separated as their heavy rail counterparts. It makes sense to include them together and it more accurately represents a city's rapid transit service. Thoughts? --Comayagua99 (talk) 16:29, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

These tables follow the APTA definitions, and I honestly think that the Wiki "rapid transit" definition is way too squishy. How would we figure out the numbers for light rail systems (like all the ones you mention) that are partially grade separated and partially not? A better idea for clarity might be to add "heavy rail" to the title of this article, as it's already in the lede. --Jfruh (talk) 19:38, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
Ok, so my edit was reverted. So let's get a consensus here. I'm going to add in light rail figures to complement the heavy rail only figures unless there's some strong opposition. Justification, above.--Comayagua99 (talk) 23:51, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
My opposition would be that it clutters the table and clouds what it's supposed to be about, which is ridership of heavy rail systems. "Rapid transit" is (to my knowledge) a dumb wiki-compromise term for "heavy rail public transit" that was come up with because US and UK editors couldn't agree on "subway" or "metro" or "underground" as a generic term. The problem is that "rapid transit" is a squishy marketing term that in real life applies to all sorts of system.
I think there's value to using having the separate lists we have now based on the three APTA categories. However, I'd also be open to a separate list just for cities that have the combined systems, or maybe a big master list that combines all heavy and light rail systems in one big list. --Jfruh (talk) 14:30, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Meant to add that I think "heavy rail" should be added to the title of this list to clarify. It's already there in the lede. --Jfruh (talk) 14:31, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Chicago 'L' route length[edit]

The total route length for the Chicago 'L' is 102.8 miles. This is taken from the CTA's website which lists (separately) lists the length of the infrastructure for elevated sections (35.8 mi), grade level (35.0 mi), embankments (20.6 mi), and subway (11.4 mi). The total of those values equal 102.8 miles, which is not the same as the rail track miles, which calculates the length of all the physical track in the system (e.g. 1 route mile with four tracks is equal to 4 miles of track). –Dream out loud (talk) 03:15, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Ah, OK, I'll go ahead a revert the edit I just made then. Still, I'd feel better if there was a reference that could be found that confirms this figure. Because the 224 mile track length figure does divide in half to 112 miles... --IJBall (talk) 17:09, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).