Triangle Transit out in full force

September 27, 2009 5:29:10 PM PDT
Last year, more people than ever were riding on Triangle Transit buses. Some say gas prices and traffic may be playing a role.

"It's very convenient, it goes everywhere, it's cheap," Triangle Transit rider Jessica Gist said.

Many have said that being chauffeured between Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and everywhere in between, is better than sitting in traffic behind the wheel.

Each weekday, nearly 65,000 people use public transportation in the Triangle and ridership continues to grow.

Last fiscal year, ridership on the Chapel Hill transit, which is always fare-free, increased 18 percent.

Boarding was up 11 percent on Capital Area Transit and 21 percent on Triangle Transit buses. The Durham Area Transit Authority saw a 5 percent gain in ridership.

"In the morning time as well as around 5 p.m. it's more packed, people with vehicles they're riding the bus," CAT rider Jessica Gist said.

Many riders said they can't beat the price.

"It's a dollar a ride and $2 for a day pass," CAT rider Patricia Betts said.

"If you can ride from (Raleigh) to Durham on $2 on the bus, can you ride from Durham to (Raleigh) in your car on $2 in gas? No, no," Triangle Transit rider Delous High said.

Extended service to outlying communities also helps draw more people in and while high fuel prices may be a loss for commuters it may be a win for public transportation.

"With the gas prices rising, I believe it has been a great effect on people that drive cars and it's helped the bus system as well," Gist said.

The Go Triangle Transit partners are sponsoring try transit week that kicks off on Monday and runs through Friday.

The week's full of events that encourage people to take the bus, including free rides.

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