Your NPR news source

Gas Prices Hurting Public Transit

SHARE Gas Prices Hurting Public Transit

The Chicago Transit Authority is considering clearing out the seats in some train cars to jam in more passengers. The agency is trying to absorb ever-swelling ridership -- train and bus trips are up about 4 percent in the first half of 2008, compared to the year before. Other local transit agencies show the same trend, with high gas prices the apparent culprit. That would seem like good news for them but of course the transit providers are paying more for energy just like everybody else. And in the complicated economics of subsidized transportation, more riders don't always help the bottom line. To help us understand what pricey fuel means for mass transit, we've reached Joseph Schofer. He's a transportation expert with Northwestern University's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and he joins us now from the Evanston campus.

Music Button: Powerhouse Sound, “Old Dictionary”, from the CD Oslo/Chicago: Breaks, (Atavistic records)

More From This Show