Soaring gas prices are apparently prompting people to take the bus. Lee County Transit—or Lee Tran—reports a dramatic increase in ridership. In August, there were 214,000 rides—up about 23 percent from August of LAST year. Spokeswoman JoAnn Haley says the numbers reflect more than just southwest Florida’s growth.
“We’ve been experiencing a more or less standard rate of growth—corresponding with the area’s growth of two to five percent a month. And this increase in August of 2005 of almost 23 percent is unprecedented… and so much larger than the previous increases that we have to attribute it to the supply and cost of gasoline.”
Higher gas prices may mean more passengers. But at the same time, every penny increase at the pump costs LeeTran about 9-thousand dollars a week. Sarasota County Area Transit also reports an increase in ridership. Although, a spokesperson said that was based on drivers’ observations, not concrete data.
Monday, 12 September 2005 01:00