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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States

This report was prepared for policy makers searching for ways to boost public transit use in U.S. urban areas and wishing to know what can be learned from the experiences of Canada and Western Europe. With few exceptions, public transit has a more prominent role in Canada and Western Europe than in the United States. This is true not only in large cities, but also in many smaller communities and throughout entire metropolitan areas. Transit is used for about 10 percent of urban trips in Western Europe, compared with about 2 percent in the United States. Canadians use public transit about twice as much as Americans, although there is considerable variation across Canada, just as there is in Western Europe and the United States.