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By Samuel R. Avro on Nov 30, 2008 with no responses

Riders Using Public Transport Despite Falling Gas Prices

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Gas prices may be falling below $2 a gallon, but riders are still using public transportation. Travelers that began using the busses and trains when gas prices were spiraling towards $5 a gallon in California have now realized that they’d rather go via public transport than hit the road on their own.

“We have seen a steady increase even with the drop in gas prices,” says Felicia Friesema, spokeswoman for Foothill Transit in California. “It looks like they’re going to stick with it.

“They formed a habit in June when gas was close to $5 a gallon.”

Foothill Transit services the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, an integral part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Ridership is up over 8 percent this year, with more than 1.44 million people choosing to take the bus. Foothill’s September ridership was up 13 percent compared to the same period last year.

Other Los Angeles area public transport companies report similar increases in ridership even as gas prices have fallen.

“You add up the gas bills over the year, and even if it drops to $1 a gallon by the end of the year, you’ve probably paid more for gas this year than any other year,” said Marie Montgomery, spokeswoman for AAA of Southern California.