APTA: Fuel hikes will boost public transit ridership

Posted on March 14, 2011

A study released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) predicts that as gasoline prices continue increasing, Americans will turn to public transportation in record numbers. APTA is calling on Congress to address this impending demand by providing a greater long-term investment in public transportation.  

The analysis reveals if regular gas prices reach $4 a gallon across the nation, many experts have forecast, an additional 670 million passenger trips could be expected, resulting in more than 10.8 billion trips per year.

If pump prices jump to $5 a gallon, the report predicts an additional 1.5 billion passenger trips can be expected, resulting in more than 11.6 billion trips per year.  And if prices were to soar to $6 a gallon, expectations go as high as an additional 2.7 billion passenger trips, resulting in more than 12.9 billion trips per year.

"The volatility of the price at the pump is another wake up call for our nation to address the increasing demand for public transportation services," said APTA President William Millar. "We must make significant, long-term investments in public transportation or we will leave our fellow Americans with limited travel options, or in many cases, stranded without travel options. Public transit is the quickest way for people to beat high gas prices if it is available."

Many of the public transit systems across the country are already seeing large ridership increases, some reaching double digits in the month of February, including the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (10.6 percent); the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (10 percent); and the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority of Oakland, Calif. (14 percent).


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