Chart of the Day: Transit Use per capita for Global Metros

I’m going through some really old chart links in my “Charts/Maps” folder, I don’t know why. Here’s one from that shows public transit usage versus urban “service area populations” for different cities.

(Twin Cities isn’t on here, but you get the idea)


Canadian cities have much higher per-capita transit ridership, according to Vox, even for “comparable” cities like Vancouver/Seattle or Calgary/Portland.  Here’s the point:

Although history and geography are partly to blame, there’s a deeper reason why American public transportation is so terrible. European, Asian, and Canadian cities treat it as a vital public utility. Most American policymakers — and voters — see transit as a social welfare program.

That is absolutely the case here in the Twin Cities as well, and you can see that in the proposed budget cuts to transit that are in place for the 2019 budget year.

This is old data, and things are changing, but not that much.

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.