LOS ANGELES (CBS) — As gas prices rose quickly this year, Angelenos took to public transportation in higher numbers, according to ridership data released Friday by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The Metro Gold Line saw the biggest spike in ridership, a 21.6 percent increase in boardings compared with the same time in 2011. Ridership on the San Fernando Valley Orange Line bus rapid transit was up 18 percent.
Metro rail ridership jumped 5.9 percent in February over the same month in 2011, an addition of about 17,500 new weekday riders.
In a statement, Metro called the jump a “significant increase from the slow-but-steady 1.9 percent rise reported between 2011 and 2010.”
Metro will expand its 79.1 mile transportation system this year when it opens the the 8.6-mile Expo Line from Union Station to Culver City this spring and the 4-mile extension of the Orange Line to Chatsworth this summer.
(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)