Mass transit ridership increases 50% in Tyler; 18% in Longview

More and more of the folks who turned to public transportation after gas prices began shooting up seem to like it.

The American Public Transportation Association reports mass transit ridership increased nearly 7 percent during the third quarter.

It's the largest quarterly increase in 25 years. The trend's hitting home here in East Texas, too.

"Most people are getting used to public transportation, we do run six days a week to offset their fuel costs, is what we're seeing here," said Gary Rushing, the Tyler City Transit Manager.

The City of Tyler transit manager says September numbers rose more than 50% this year.

In Longview, transit officials say that number increased by 18%.

The tyler transit manager say September's numbers did get a slight boost from evacuees of Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, but not enough to greatly impact the overall number of riders.

Layron Livingston, reporting.