Public Transit Systems Refocus on Their Core Riders
Over the last two years, the pandemic has managed to shake almost every industry imaginable as our daily routines changed to rising infection rates, the shift to remote work, and stay-at-home orders. In the transportation industry, ridership numbers dropped significantly by 72 percent, from 186 million transit rides in the last week of February 2020 to 52.4 million in March 2020. However, as the American Public Transit Association analyzed these numbers further, one thing stood out––riders across low-income communities and people of color were less likely to stop riding public transit during the pandemic. Of course, it’s no secret that these specific demographics rely heavily on public transportation. Still, these studies showed that in a country where these groups are often at an economic and geographic disadvantage, they deserve better when it comes to their transportation needs.
In November 2020, the Port Authority of Allegheny County, the public transit provider of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas, took heed to the shift in ridership and instrumented some significant changes to its bus service. They moved their resources away from “commuter” routes that primarily served people who worked more traditional office jobs and schedules and shifted towards lower-income neighborhoods where commuters are less likely to have cars. Additionally, the agency increased weekend and off-peak service to accommodate riders who work less conventional hours. While the pandemic has mostly harmed many facets of this country, it’s also brought visibility to the need for equity in public transit. Check out this article to learn more about other studies surrounding public transit in the U.S. and what agencies throughout the country are doing to reach their core riders.
Bringing equity to public transit requires an in-depth understanding of ridership, route utilization, and other data to understand better where your agency can make improvements. With Passio Technologies, our innovative solutions enable your agency to gather valuable insights, passenger feedback, and more to make informed decisions. Connect with us today to learn how our solutions can bring equity to your fleet and better transportation to your riders.