Public transportation serves 8 billion trips for 2015

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) reported Monday that U.S. public transportation completed approximately 8 billion trips within the first nine months of this year.

This figure shows a decline of 1.2 percent when compared to the first nine months of 2014, meaning that there were approximately 95.6 million fewer trips when compared to the same period in 2014.

Experts attribute this decline to the average price of gas throughout these months.

“Despite lower gas prices, public transportation remains a critical service for millions of Americans,” Valarie J. McCall, APTA chair and board member of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, said. “In fact, some public transit systems saw record ridership in the first nine months, including Sound Transit (Seattle, WA) and Link Transit (Wenatchee, WA). Metro Transit (Minneapolis, MN) saw the highest ridership in decades and at the Cleveland RTA’s heavy rail ridership went up 3.6 percent, a hefty increase for a public transit system.”

The average price for gas amounted to $2.42, which is a decline of 30 percent compared to last year.

“With additional decreases in gas prices in the third quarter, some people may have returned to driving, but most people continued their trips on public transportation,” Michael Melaniphy, APTA president and CEO, said. “When you take in to account the cost of owning and maintaining a car, public transit still offers a great way to save money.”

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