Joel Kotkin and I wrote in the Orange County Register that transit work trip market shares in the Los Angeles area had changed little, from 5.9 percent in 1980 to 5.8 percent in 2013. In a response, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACTMTA) noted that we did not cite sources. Fair enough. Our source was the 1980 US Census and the 2013 American Community Survey, a product of the United States Census Bureau. This data shows Los Angeles to rank 10th in transit market share among the 52 major metropolitan areas (over 1,000,000 population), well below its population rank of 2nd.

Then LACMTA goes on to note “the percentage of daily transit commuters in the Los Angeles region … has stayed steady over the last several decades.” That is exactly our point — that transit is not growing as a percentage of travel in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. This, despite expenditures of $15 billion to build rail over the period in constant 2013 dollars (estimated from data on the Thoreau Institute website).