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According to figures for the first quarter of 2012, public transportation is doing really well – maybe even record-breaking well. Whether it involves buses, subways, carpools, streetcars or trolleys, the same result is observed: more and more people are using public transportation.
As stated in a report released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the transit ridership is definitely on the rise. Comparing the first three months of 2012 to 2011, Americans took nearly 2.7 billion trips, an increase of 5% year over year. To put it in perspective, transportation usage grew:
There are many reasons why people all across the country have started using more public transit: air quality improvement, reduction of energy consumption, less traffic congestion, safety improvements, ability to work while on transit, and more. Also playing a role in this trend is the increasing quality of service delivered. Real time technology now allows companies to deliver more reliable service and riders have taken notice. The biggest reason for the trend, however, is the cost savings. With the increasing price of gas, public transportation is actually cheaper for most people than driving their own cars.
Though public transit systems can still be improved with bigger buses and longer trains running more often or through the use of sustainable energy sources to power them, this trend really shows a less individual way of thinking and the development of more eco-friendly behavior. Thanks to public transportation, 340 million gallons of fuel were saved due to decreased congestion in cities, 102.2 billion fewer miles were traveled and 37 million metric tons of carbon dioxide were not released. Looking at these numbers, there is no doubt that public transit has a real and positive impact on both our wallets and the environment.
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