I find that bus number unbelievably small. Only 3.6 million people in the country get back and forth by bus? Am I reading that right? Heck, just on Port Authority, the number of warm bodies on the system in a given day is about 100,000. Not ridership. People. And PAT isn’t even close to the top of the list of big transit systems.
The census data they base that on seems to be claiming 2,480,371 people take the subway to work nationwide. New York’s MTA alone reports 5,380,184 fare-paying passengers on the average weekday (though it appears they’re counting trips, so divide by two or so). Weird.
After NYC, the next US subway system is Washington, according to Wikipedia, and that’s much smaller. So the subway numbers seem to be in the ballpark. And when I sum the bus numbers from Wikipedia and divide by two I get a number about 20% larger than the US census number — again, in the ballpark, since not everyone taking the bus is going to work.
if i recall correctly, this census data is again based on the question of “which one method do you use most often?”, so if you ‘drive alone’ 3x and bus 2x a week, you drive, period. If you drive half an hour and bus fifteen minutes, you drive, period. If you bike 24 weeks of the year and drive 28, you drive, period.
i’m not sure why the ACS is designed this way, other than a lack of understanding of how people other than the survey designer operate, combined with a desire to make the analysis as simple as possible, but it’s clearly broken…. OTOH, with Congress the way it is these days, the ACS is probably more likely to get defunded and shut down than fixed any time in the near future.