The U.S. Department of Transportation reports a 5.5 percent spike in transit ridership compared to February of just last year. With the price of gas increasing, it is no wonder transit ridership is at it’s highest since the last spike in 2008. According to Transportation Nation, the average increase of ridership in the last six months came to an impressive 4.5 percent. A pattern is quite obvious: when gas goes up, people drive less and when gas prices decrease, people rely less on public transportation.
However, there may be a sea change afoot that cannot be explained by the price of gas. A report from U.S. PIRG shows the use of public transportation has greatly increased among young people, and this increase has taken place over the whole of the last decade. According to the report, the average young person is driving less overall and utilizing public transit convenient to them. Hopefully the upcoming generation shift will compel the public and policymakers to support long-term and audacious public transit plans, even while gas prices are low.