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It's Gonna Be A While Before Metro Rail Really Starts Booming

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Older transit networks tend to take on way more new commuters than newer networks do over the same period, finds planning website NextCity, but LA, with its newish Gold Line and Silver Line bucks the trend: It made it into the top four cities for transit use, beating out Chicago and Boston. NextCity compared transit data for major cities from the 2000 Census to recent numbers from the 2012 American Community Survey and found that Washington DC, which hasn't added any new subway stations since 1999, saw ridership jump from 33.2 percent in 2000 to 37.8 percent in 2012--the largest gain of any city. In second place was New York, where a staggering 55.6 percent of commuters take transit (up from 2000's 52.9 percent), even though there hasn't been a new subway station added there since 1989. San Francisco barely beat out LA, where 11.1 percent of all commuters now take transit--a small but notable increase over 2000's 10.2 percent. While our gains are good, the overall percentage of commuters who use transit is pretty far below other cities. The moral of the story, NextCity says, is that it takes time for ridership to increase substantially. It points out that "Washington, DC saw transit use rise decades after building out its rail networks." Only after these transit networks have been around for a while do they really become a big part of getting workers where they need to go.
· Since 2000, Old Networks Yield More Transit Growth Than New Ones [NextCity]