LA Times Article: Transit ridership up sharply as gas prices climb

The following article appeared in the Thursday March 16, 2012 Edition of the Los Angeles Times.

Transit ridership up sharply as gas prices climb

Photo: A Metro Gold Line train crosses the 1st Street Bridge in Los Angeles. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Metro bus and rail ridership rose sharply during the first two months of this year as gas prices soared, the public transit agency reported Friday.

The Metro Gold Line from downtown to Pasadena saw the biggest spike: up nearly 22% over boardings from a year earlier.

Orange Line commuter traffic also carried significantly more passengers than a year ago, up by 18%, and the Blue and Green lines also drew more commuters as gas costing nearly $5 a gallon put the squeeze on many household budgets.

Metro Rail ridership gained 5.9% to 316,436 average weekday boardings between February 2011 and February 2012, compared with only a 1.9% rise the previous year.

Metro spokeswoman Gayle Anderson attributed some of the increasing ridership to technological improvements the service introduced last year, such as next-bus or next-train arrival information that riders can access on their smartphones.

— Carol J. Williams

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