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MTA Ridership Soars As Gas Prices Expected To Test Record High

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Ridership levels for Metro and other mass transit services in Southern California are climbing in unison with rising gas prices.

KNX 1070's Pete Demetriou reports more commuters are ditching their cars as the average price for a gallon of fuel hits $4.39 per gallon for regular unleaded.


A University of Texas study focused on trends in 33 U.S. cities and cited in the Journal of Transport Geography finds that for every 10 percent hike in the cost of gas, bus ridership jumps 4 percent and rail as much as 8 percent — all tied directly to fuel price spikes.

Ridership on the Orange and Silver lines is up by double-digits in recent weeks, a trend that MTA CEO Art Leahy said shows commuters are doing their homework.

"You can buy a 30-day MTA pass to ride buses and trains for about the cost of one tank of gas for a car," said Leahy.

After 27 consecutive days of increases, gas prices are stablilizing slightly in recent days, but analysts expect prices to flirt with the record high of $4.62 per gallon in coming weeks.

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