Falling gas prices may be reversing ridership growth in public transit

One of the great public transit stories of the past decade has been the surprising success of the light rail system of the DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit).  For the past couple years, ridership has been so high that parking at some DART rail stations has been nearly impossible to find. 

However, according to the Dallas Morning News, it appears that the recent fall in gas prices has been taking a toll on DART ridership.  While the DMN notes that the recent slowdown has not yet shown up in statistics, since they lag a couple months behind real time, anecdotal evidence has shown a significant drop in passengers. 

Sadly, we will not be surprised to see more stories like this one coming out in coming months.  Rising gas prices did what national security and environmental concerns couldn’t do– which is, cause the public to consume less oil.  Unfortunately, falling gas prices may undue much of these gains.

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