Recently compiled data by the City of Santa Clarita shows that transit ridership in the City has increased steadily over the last two years. Partially attributed to rising fuel costs, this trend is expected to continue in response to increasingly high gas prices.
The average California price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in August this year was approximately $2.72, up a full dollar from the average in August 2003, according to the US Department of Energy.
In 2003, average ridership on local transit systems was 253,000 local riders a month and 22,000 commuters. Numbers increased slightly last year, to 260,000 and 23,000 riders respectively. So far in 2005, transit ridership has averaged about 263,000 riders a month for local users. Commuters have averaged about 26,000 riders a month.
As gas prices have risen steadily in recent months, many local stations above $3 a gallon, City transit officials expect that the number of people utilizing public transportation will continue to rise. Data shows the trend in ridership appears to follow the changing gas prices.
“It is becoming more and more expensive to operate a vehicle in Santa Clarita,” said Ben Gonzales, Administrative Analyst in the City’s Transit Division. “We hope that ridership continues to increase, as it benefits the entire community; traffic will diminish as more cars are left at home and the need for gasoline will also be reduced.”
For more information on transit ridership statistics, please contact Gonzales at 661/294-2556.