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MTS says ridership spikes as gas prices rise

Posted at 5:10 PM, Mar 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-18 20:14:34-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Ridership hit its highest rate since the peak of the pandemic last week with nearly 200,000 trips during the workweek.

"We've seen a bump of about 20 percent in ridership," said Mark Olson, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System director of marketing and communications.

During the pandemic, MTS saw an about 70 percent drop in ridership.

MTS credits that recent spike to rising gas prices.

"It pretty much hits every part of the city and with gas prices, it just makes it really easy," said Rafael Murillo, the rider.

Rafael Murillo is one of the riders contributing to the spike.

He said he started taking the trolley to work last year and it's saved him money.

"I'd say about a good sixty bucks per week or more," said Murillo.

On top of the recent spike, MTS said ridership compared to last year is exceeding expectations.

The transit provider only predicted seeing an 11 percent spike in riders compared to last year, it now expects to see a 45percent spike.

"Vehicles can be very expensive, so if you can drop one vehicle in your family or maybe two vehicles in your family and take transit instead, this is the time to think about it," said Olson.

For those considering giving their cars a break and using public transit, MTS has a commute calculatorthat compares how much money you'll spend driving versus how much you'll spend taking a trolley or bus.

"A lot of people don't factor that in. It's not just gas. It's also insurance, the cost of your car, the wear and tear on it," said Olson.