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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Rising fuel costs impacting agencies' budgets and capacity, APTA says

Yesterday, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) reported that public transit ridership jumped 5.2 percent in the second quarter compared with second-quarter 2007's total. But another APTA report states that the high fuel prices driving more riders to public transit are impacting agencies' costs, as well, and the additional riders are squeezing capacity.

Eighty-five percent of public transit systems have reported capacity issues, APTA said. Of those, 63 percent are short on capacity during peak commute periods, according to "Rising Fuel Costs: Impacts on Transit Ridership and Agency Operations."

In addition, 91 percent of responding agencies said they are facing limitations in their ability to add service to meet increased demand. The most common one? Insufficient revenue, 65 percent said. More than half of the agencies reported declining or stable local and state financial assistance during the past year. And, more than 60 percent of the respondents said they're considering fare increases and 35 percent, service cuts because of rising fuel costs.

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More News from 9/10/2008