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Public Transit Districts in California

OVERVIEW...

California has more than 100 public transit and bus districts, which serve individual cities, entire counties, or regions with bus, trolley, and ferry service.

About five percent of Californians commute to work by public transit, which works out to millions of people each year:

  • Bus: 955.2 million passengers
  • Intercity Rail (AMTRAK): 2.67 million passengers
  • Rail, Street Car, Trolley: 377.8 million passengers
  • Total Urban Transit Ridership 2005: 1,357,676,000 passenger trips

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has been promoting intercity passenger rail service since 1976 by augmenting Amtrak's basic system of interstate trains. The Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquins, and Capitol Corridor are funded primarily by the State of California. These trains (collectively referred to as Amtrak California) operate in addition to Amtrak's own interstate trains -- the Coast Starlight, the California Zephyr, the Southwest Chief, and the Sunset Limited-- which connect California to the rest of the country with bands of passenger rail.

 

Transit Ridership in California's Large Urban Areas 2005


Urban Area Annual Unlinked
Passenger Trips
(thousands)
Percent
Motor Bus Heavy Rail Light Rail Commuter Rail Other
Los Angeles-Long Beach - Santa Ana 666,052 86.2 5.4 5.7 1.6 1
San Francisco-Oakland 418,384 42.4 23.7 11.2 1.9 20.7
San Diego 89,924 63.5 0 32.6 1.6 2.3
San Jose 38,477 80.0 0 17.6 0 2.4
Riverside-San Bernardino 23,322 95.8 0 0 0 4.2
Sacramento 32,863 62.4 0 36.5 0 1.1

Source: State Transportation Statistics, 2007, Table 4-3. U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovation Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics