Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Consumer spending on public transportation rebounded in 2021 after large decline in 2020

September 09, 2022

Consumer spending on public and other transportation rose 72 percent in 2021, after declining 66 percent in 2020. Despite the increase in 2021, consumer spending on intercity public transportation remained below the levels of 2019, the last year before the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumer spending for airline fares rose 101.4 percent in 2021, after falling 68.8 percent in 2020. Consumer spending also rose in 2021 for intercity bus fares, intercity train fares, and ship fares. Intercity transportation spending is for travel between two metropolitan areas.

Percent change in consumer spending on intercity public and other transportation, 2019–21
Intercity transportation mode 2019–20 2020–21

Total intercity public transportation

-70.5% 96.8%

Airline fares

-68.8 101.4

Intercity bus fares

-85.4 87.4

Ship fares

-80.1 73.6

Intercity train fares

-73.7 40.7

Consumer spending for local and intracity public transportation did not rebound as quickly in 2021 as did spending for intercity public transportation. Intracity mass transit spending rose 16.5 percent in 2021. In 2020, consumer spending for intracity mass transit declined 53.7 percent, as many workers lost their jobs because of the pandemic and many other workers began teleworking. Even as some employers returned to office work in 2021, telework was still prominent, dampening the recovery in spending for intracity mass transit. Consumer spending on taxi fares and limousine services fell 23.3 percent in 2021, following an even larger decline of 32.7 percent in 2020. Consumer spending for both intracity mass transit and taxi fares and limousine services in 2021 were about half their 2019 levels.

Percent change in consumer spending on local and intracity public and other transportation, 2019–21
Intracity transportation mode 2019–20 2020–21

Total local and intracity public transportation

-50.1% 12.9%

Local transportation on out-of-town trips

-66.1 106.2

Taxi fares and limousine services on trips

-66.1 106.2

Intracity mass transit fares

-53.7 16.5

Taxi fares and limousine services

-32.7 -23.3

These data are from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys. To learn more, see “Consumer Expenditures — 2021.”

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Consumer spending on public transportation rebounded in 2021 after large decline in 2020 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2022/consumer-spending-on-public-transportation-rebounded-in-2021-after-large-decline-in-2020.htm (visited October 06, 2022).

OF INTEREST
spotlight

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics



triangle