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Old 05-18-2007, 06:00 AM   #1
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As Vancouver gas prices soar, so does transit use

As Vancouver gas prices soar, so does transit use

Average pump cost hits $1.27 a litre; city's Translink system sees 11-per-cent increase in ridership

From Friday's Globe and Mail
May 18, 2007 at 4:32 AM EDT

VANCOUVER ? Gas prices are up across the country, but no major city has been hit harder than Vancouver with an average pump price of $1.272 a litre [= $4.39 US per US gallon] for regular unleaded gasoline. It's been climbing steadily toward that record since February.

But as gas prices continue to rise, so does the number of people who use public transit.

From January to April, Vancouver's Translink system saw an 11-per-cent increase in ridership over the same period last year on its light-rail service, while the rest of the system saw a 3-per-cent rise.

At the same time, national public transit use is at an all-time high, according to the Canadian Urban Transit Association.

Gas prices are only one of the determining factors when it comes to choosing public transit, but changes in prices at the pumps have been reflected in ridership numbers in the past, Translink spokesman Drew Snider said. It goes to show that if environmental issues don't necessarily motivate people to be greener, the economy will.

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