As gas prices increase, so does the use of public transportation

(FOX19) - Across the tri-state, regional transit agencies are preparing for more riders because of increasing gas prices.

Cincinnati's Metro, the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK), Clermont Transportation Connection (CTC) and the Butler County Regional Transit Authority (BCRTA) have all seen more riders in 2011, part of a national trend in response to rising gas prices.

Metro has seen a five percent increase in ridership between February of 2010 and February of 2011. Metro has added seven new hybrid buses and launched a new route to better serve the many arts, parks, museums and entertainment venues in Cincinnati.

TANK has seen over a 10 percent increase in the same time period. TANK introduced new Southbank Shuttle trolleys with a new route, 15-minute frequencies seven days a week and $1 fare in 2011.

CTC has increase by 15.5 percent and BCRTA has seen a 30 percent increase.

A study released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) predicts that as gasoline prices continue increasing, Americans will turn to public transportation in record numbers. The analysis reveals if regular gas prices reach $4 a gallon across the nation, as many experts have forecasted, an additional 670 million passenger trips could be expected, resulting in more than 10.8 billion trips per year.

"We want new riders to know that there are public transportation options throughout Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Riding the bus doesn't require a huge lifestyle adjustment. The first step is to educate yourself – visit a website or make a call with questions," said Metro's CEO Terry Garcia Crews. "Now is the perfect time to try out a Park & Ride or other service. You'll save on gas and parking, and you'll be choosing a greener option that is better for the community."

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