New Transit Service Delivery to Drive Ridership Growth

Public transportation ridership in the United States continues to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. After reaching low levels of 20 percent of pre-pandemic ridership in April 2020, ridership has recovered nationally to 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels as of mid-2023. However, transit ridership recovery levels vary widely, with some systems experiencing higher ridership than before the pandemic, while others are well below the national average. While some aspects of transit ridership recovery are outside of transit agency control, a number of agencies have found success in driving ridership growth through improving transit service. Changes to service levels at different times of day, improvements to transit service reliability, and focusing on specific populations have supported ridership growth at various transit agencies. Previous TCRP and APTA projects examined transit ridership and service delivery and can be expanded on to provide the post-pandemic context. TCRP Research Report 209 examines transit ridership trends in the period leading up to the pandemic. TCRP Research Report 231 provides a deep dive into transit ridership declines and solutions. TCRP Research Report 215 addresses improving bus transit reliability. TCRP Research Report 207 examines tactical transit projects. And APTA’s report On the Horizon: Planning for Post-Pandemic Travel examines transit agency responses to the pandemic and their plans for recovery. The objective of this project is to develop a guide for transit agencies on successful strategies for increasing transit ridership in the post-pandemic era.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $150000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-11, Task 49

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Schwager, Dianne

  • Start Date: 20240103
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01902064
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-11, Task 49
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Dec 13 2023 1:17PM