Saturday, September 17, 2005

Gas Prices Makes More Mass Transit Riders Out of Us After All

I have an interest in mass transit that goes beyond curiosity... it borders on a minor obsession at times. Mainly trains since buses just don't do it for me. But put buses on a power line and I get all excited. I don't know why, something that has to do with my childhood I am certain, but this isn't the time for that. It turns out that in a town where we are supposed to get trains in the ever distant future, perhaps $3 a gallon gas may quicken our demand after all. In places like Dallas and Losa Angeles mass transit ridership is up...
In Dallas, an increase in ridership in the past month on DART has resulted in "incredibly creative parking at some outlying stations," and the service received a growing number of complaints from motorists demanding to know why the system doesn't serve their destinations, according to DART spokesman Morgan Lyons.

The Trinity Railway Express, a commuter rail service between Dallas and Fort Worth, has benefited even more from high gasoline prices, posting a 15 percent increase in ridership so far this month, Lyons says.

In famously car-addicted Los Angeles, ridership on city buses and subways jumped 7.82 percent in August, while ridership on the Metro-Link, the regional commuter rail service for the metropolitan area, rose 6 percent, the largest monthly increase since last November.
15% and 6% increases... that is meaningful and let's hope that we begin to realize that we need zoning that demands density, a return to car pools for commuting and every metro area needs an adequate light rail system. And as the song goes, some may say I'm a dreamer, but I am not the only one...

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