Sky high gas prices in 2008 meant a big boost for public transit ridership. A huge one, in fact. Today, the American Public Transportation Association released year-end ridership data for 2008, and reported the highest ridership level in 52 years. Exciting!
Ridership increases were to be expected during the early part of the year, when gas was approaching $5/gallon in some regions. What’s particularly exciting about these numbers is that transit ridership increased over 2007 levels even in the fourth quarter, after gas prices had dropped and job losses mounted.
Locally, the news was good as well, with AC Transit boasting a 5.68% increase in trips over last year. The chart below lists annual unlinked passenger trips on AC Transit buses for the past six years.