Florida public transit surged

Public transit in South Florida saw a significant increase in ridership when gasoline prices peaked at $4.16 a gallon this summer, although some of the gains have dissipated now that gas has dropped to less than half that price.

Tri-Rail ridership was up 32.9 percent from July to September over the same period in 2007, making it the second-fastest growing commuter rail system in the United States, according to the national association. It was outranked only by a new commuter train in Albuquerque, N.M., which posted a 35.8 percent increase in riders.

In July, the increase was even more pronounced: More than 15,119 people a day boarded Tri-Rail trains that month, up 41.9 percent over the previous July, according to the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority.

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