Transit agencies often focus on ridership as a primary measure of performance: If enough people are riding transit, then the system is a success. But who are those riders, and why is volume the benchmark?
This viewpoint can skip over an important aspect of a transit agency’s function; that is, providing opportunity to those with little or no access to other modes of transportation.Transit service is supported by local governments, with aid from larger bodies, to provide a more diverse transportation network that serves as many needs of the public as possible. Yet in many places, the people most in need of access—for example, people experiencing poverty and unemployment—are underserved by transit systems.
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