By David Zipper
With commuters grounded and passenger numbers likely to remain low in U.S. cities, public transportation leaders should focus on a different metric for usefulness: transit access.
Of all the information that U.S. public transit agencies track, none is more important to them than ridership — the number of people boarding its buses, trains and subway cars. Agency executives monitor their ridership data as closely as a CEO watching her company’s stock price. “We’ve always used ridership as our main metric,” says M.J. Maynard, CEO of RTC Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. “We’re constantly drawing comparisons with each other and bragging when our numbers are bigger.”