Public transportation - Statistics & Facts

Public transit systems are beneficial in boosting cities and metropolitan areas into hubs of employment and financial opportunities. By connecting businesses with labor sources and households with offices or retail, restaurants and other places of employment and entertainment, the public modes of transportation like buses, light rail and the metro are essential because they provide mobility for the entire population.

The public transportation system can be structured into four types of transit: bus transit, light rail transit, rapid transit (or metros) and ferries. Bus transit is one of the most frequented mode of transit used, providing street transportation services on an extended network of lines. In 2015, Latin America had the highest number of daily passengers, and São Paulo was one of the busiest cities in terms of passenger journeys. Light rail transit is a semi-rapid mode of transit, providing transport services on separated rail infrastructure. Tramway systems are more predominant in Europe; Budapest’s light rail system, for example, carries around 396 million every year.

Rapid transit is by far the most popular form of transit. With more than 148 metro systems in operation worldwide, it provides passenger railway transportation in urban areas with a high capacity and frequency of service and adds quality to living in the big cities. New York’s subway network has the highest number of metro stations with 468 stations on 394 kilometers of rail tracks. Asian-Pacific cities were at the forefront in terms of ridership; Tokyo’s metro system carries over 3.6 billion passengers annually.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 35 most important statistics relating to "Public transportation".

Public transportation

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All important statistics are prepared by our experts – available for direct download as PPT & PDF!

Important key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Public transportation" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Bus transit

Light rail transit

Rapid transit

Public transit in U.S.


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