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Skyrocketing Gas Prices Turn Travelers To Transit


Aired 3/9/11

Skyrocketing gas prices are pushing more people to park their cars and take the trolley. Transportation officials say they're ready to welcome more riders.

San Diego’s trolleys, trains and buses are bracing for more people. That’s because the last time gas prices spiked so did ridership.

A San Diego trolley.
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Above: A San Diego trolley.

In 2008, when gas prices passed $4.50 a gallon, San Diego's public transportation gained 4.4 million riders, according to Rob Schupp with the San Diego Metropolitan Transit Service.

"I think that’s what we can expect if gas prices continue to stay above $4 per gallon,” said Schupp.

He said routes will be closely monitored for over-capacity.

“We do have extra resources that we can put out there if we have one line or one route or another that is experiencing some overcrowding," he said.

Schupp said gas prices won't have a big impact on MTS costs because most of their fleet is run on compressed naturalized gas, and the trolley is electric.

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Avatar for user 'brixsy'

brixsy | March 8, 2011 at 9:26 p.m. ― 6 years ago

Sometimes there can be delays, especially at the SDSU station because of the large pileup of students. Hope they will take that into consideration. Anyhow, anything that gets people riding transit is a good thing, especially if they become long-term riders and help legitimize it as real mode of transport.

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Avatar for user 'Abe A'

Abe A | March 9, 2011 at 2:03 p.m. ― 6 years ago

I heard a great idea from Tom Friedman over the weekend. A federal tax that would establish a floor price of $4/gallon for gasoline. If the market price went below $4, we collect a tax up to the $4 mark. If it is above $4/gallon, then the tax is not collected and we are charged the market rate.

This would not only provide a more stable gasoline market, but it would actually help offset the cost of building and maintaining current and future roads, and mass transit options.

The realist in me knows it would never happen, but a boy can dream.

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