The soaring price of gas is driving people across America out of their cars and onto mass transit, the New York Times reports. Buses and trains are up 5% or more in cities like Boston and New York, where mass transit is already a popular alternative, but the biggest leap in rider numbers—10-15%— has been in cities in the South and West where car culture is strongest.
With buses suddenly standing-room-only and train parking lots overflowing, transit bosses worry about the ability of the systems to cope in the short term, but see a bright future long term. "Nobody believed that people would actually give up their cars to ride public transportation,” said one Florida transport chief. “But in the last year, and last several months in particular, we have seen exactly that.”