The New York Times reported yesterday that transit ridership in the US has increased drastically in the past year.
Americans took 200 million more rides last year on subways, commuter trains, light-rail systems and public buses than they did the year before, according to a new report by a leading transit association.
Americans took 10.4 billion rides on public transportation in 2011 — a billion more than they took in 2000, and the second most since 1957, according to a report being released Monday by the American Public Transportation Association.
The NYT attributes that increase both due to falling unemployment numbers, and also rising gas prices. I agree with that those factors do play some part, but it’s not the whole story. Unemployment is still quite high, by historical standards, and yet ridership is the highest it’s been since the 1950’s. That indicates that some people are shifting their mode of travel, even with the availability of disposable income.