U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Intercity bus ridership estimates for the year 2008 were developed as part of FHWA’s Traffic Analysis Framework (TAF) Multimodal Interregional Passenger Travel Origin Destination Data project. Those estimates were based on extrapolations from the 1995 American Travel Survey. However, the intercity bus market changed considerably in the interval between 1995 and 2008 (and has continued to change since 2008) and simple extrapolations apparently did not capture the full extent of those changes.
Fortunately, there are several other types of data that, together, can be used to provide current, refined estimates of bus ridership. This project developed and applied an approach that can be used to more reliably estimate, and annually update, intercity bus ridership volumes based on empirical observations of the number of bus services actually operated. The specific datasets that the project used include existing GTFS data for intercity bus services, additional Intercity bus schedule data from Russell’s Guide and other carrier schedules converted to GTFS format, survey data from the 2014 Northeast Corridor traveler survey describing intercity bus travel in the north east (and in particular in the corridor from Boston to New York to Washington, DC), and TAF long distance trip table data that was used to define the top 200 metro-pairs in terms of long distance travel for this analysis.
The final product of this project is improved current (2014) and 2040 estimates of scheduled intercity bus ridership for the top 200 U.S. intercity travel markets. This is provided in the form of a complete spreadsheet containing the top 200 markets, their bus service, and estimated ridership for 2014 and 2040.