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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

A sign of the times: BART gains riders as gas prices skyrocket

In a state where people love their cars, it takes a lot for many residents to consider using public transportation. But officials at Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) believe California gas prices — which have soared to almost $3 a gallon — will drive more people away from their cars and into trains.

As gas prices have climbed during the past few months, the agency has registered a slight ridership increase, and officials expect those figures to continue to rise. During the past week, the agency recorded 14,500 more page views on the "Trip Planning" function of its Web site compared with the previous week.

In addition, the American Automobile Association recently reported that driving a car in California costs 69 cents per mile; riding BART costs 19 cents per mile.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/12/2005