Positive Environment News

U.S. Economic Crisis Drives Public Transport Boom

Date: 09-Dec-08
Country: US
Author: Richard Valdmanis

NEW YORK - Americans seeking to cut costs in a dour economy are turning aggressively to public transportation in a way not seen since the 1980s, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

Ridership on the nation's public buses and trains between July and October surged about 6.5 percent over the same period last year, with some 2.8 billion trips, marking the biggest boost in 25 years, APTA said in a release.

"The record increase in public transportation trips demonstrates the exceptional value of public transportation in today's economy," said APTA President William Millar.

Americans' use of public transportation already had been on the rise due to recent high fuel prices that made road travel expensive, and the dramatic downturn in the economy has kept the trend moving even as energy prices retreat.

"The fact that public transit ridership surged while gas prices and highway travel declined, shows a growing demand for more bus and rail services," Millar said.

The boost in public transport use came alongside a 4.6 percent decline in the number of miles Americans traveled on the nation's highways, APTA said.

(Editing by Walter Bagley)

Reuters
© Thomson Reuters 2008 All rights reserved

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