Environmental Defense Fund Map: In 2008, People Flocked to Public Transit

Americans are driving less, spurred by steep gas prices for much of this year. We are also turning to transit like never before β€” especially for essential trips like going to work. Demand for public transit is at an all-time high, soaring to rates not seen since 1957. Across the country, places as diverse as New York City, Southern California, North Carolina and Wyoming are witnessing sharp rises.

EDF produced an interactive map (using data from the National Transit Database) showing the many places where transit ridership jumped along with gas prices.

Scroll over the map and see eye-popping jumps in people using public transit β€” not just in big cities but places like Terre Haute, Indiana, and Sherman, Texas, which saw huge leaps in ridership.

These trends reveal a basic truth: Americans are looking for an affordable and sustainable ride to work. Are we prepared to meet that demand? For details and more stats, see Senate testimony [PDF] by Andy Darrell, vice president for EDF’s Living Cities program. Also read Darrell’s message outlining our vision to put the U.S. at the forefront of clean, affordable travel options and help solve the climate crisis.

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