US Public Transport Revenues Expected to Further Dip in 2021 as Workers Remain Home


Cleveland, OH, September 29, 2021 — US public transport revenues in nominal dollars are forecast to see 20% annual growth through 2025 from a low base year in 2020, according to Public Transport: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports. Excluding the anomalous year 2020, revenues are projected to increase at a pace of 2.1% per year from 2019 to 2025. Providers will benefit from economic expansion and rising employment levels, which will boost public transport use among commuters and business travelers. Growing disposable personal incomes will support growth in recreation activity and associated use of public transport among vacationers and those attempting to reach local entertainment destinations. However, competition from privately owned vehicles will continue to restrain use and revenues.

In 2021, revenues are projected to fall 5.0% due to ongoing restrictions, continued pandemic-related concerns over travel, and the prevalence of work-from-home for many office workers. The increased use and improvements in teleconferencing software have limited the need for business travel. On the other hand, many consumers went on a vacation due to government stimulus payments and savings accumulated as they worked form home and avoided commuting costs, preventing further declines in public transport revenues in 2021.

These and other key insights are featured in Public Transport: United States. This report forecasts to 2021 and 2025 US public transport revenues in nominal US dollars. Total revenues are segmented by type in terms of:

  • scheduled and chartered air
  • taxicab and limousine, including ridesharing services or transportation network companies (TNCs)
  • cruise and ferry
  • charter bus and sightseeing
  • mass transit, including commuter bus, commuter rail, light rail, mixed-mode, monorail, subway, tramway (also referred to as trolley or streetcar)
  • intercity rail (i.e., Amtrak)
  • other passenger transport services such as employee, paratransit, school, senior, and shuttle

To illustrate historical trends, total revenues and the various segments are provided in annual series from 2010 to 2020.

The scope of this report includes the revenues of employer and nonemployer establishments. Revenues represent the transportation of passengers and their belongings; freight is excluded. The air travel segment includes a considerable amount of international travel activity; the intercity rail and cruise and ferry segments include some international travel (e.g., Amtrak makes some stops in Canada, while cruise passengers visit international destinations). Rental of light vehicles, bikes, or scooters is excluded from the scope of this report.

This report includes the results of a proprietary national online consumer survey of US adults (age 18+). This Freedonia Focus Reports National Survey has a sample size of approximately 2,000, screened for response quality, and representative of the US population on the demographic measures of age, gender, geographic region, race/ethnicity, household income, and the presence/absence of children in the household.

More information about the report is available at: