Report: Public transit ridership up in U.S., but not for Muni

As gas prices skyrocket, many Bay Area public-transit systems are mostly seeing more riders.

Nationwide, public-transit use is up 32 percent since 1995, according to an American Public Transportation Association report released Monday. Light-rail systems saw the biggest jump — up 6.1 percent in 2007, compared with 2006, while commuter rail rose 5.5 percent.

The report, however, reflects Muni’s third ridership decrease in three years, according to data from the association.

Muni leaders announced this month new plans to streamline service by shifting more service to the busiest lines while reducing or eliminating other routes.

“While the APTA numbers are preliminary … our goal is to transform Muni, which we expect would attract new customers and increase our ridership,” Muni spokesman Judson True said.

It’s possible that some Muni riders are switching to BART, but the municipal rail and bus system still carries almost twice as many riders as the subway — and with a similar annual budget, Snyder said.

On the Peninsula, adding service such as the Baby Bullet has attracted more commuters to Caltrain, according to spokeswoman Christine Dunn.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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