In Boston, the storm closed subways for several hours. The annual traffic increased 2.8 percent despite a 25 percent fare increase earlier in the year. Nationwide, ridership still increased.
What's going on here?
Well, several things, say experts. For one, the price of gas spiked north of $4 a gallon in 2008. That year, a lot of commuters who economized by using transit got a surprise: They liked it. They liked it because they could work on their laptops or phones. They could call friends, read books, chat with other commuters. Take naps.
It was all so much more enjoyable than crawling in rush-hour traffic on Washington's Beltway, Atlanta's Connector or even in Ann Arbor at the intersection of Washtenaw Avenue and Platt Road.
So they kept on riding, even as gas prices dropped.
Another reason: Cities that didn't have many public transportation options in the '80s and '90s have been getting on board.
Places like Salt Lake City and Phoenix, which fostered rail transit during the past decade, are now seeing community benefits like lower traffic congestion and increased economic activity.
The ballot box revealed another signal of support. Last year, voters approved nearly 80 percent of the nation's local and state transit funding initiatives, the American Public Transportation Association said, allowing their tax money to go toward public transportation systems.
Some of the winners in Monday's public transit report include:
• New York City MTA subways, up 1.82 percent