Saturday’s LA Times features two articles about the effect of high gas prices on the choices that commuters make. One asserts that the recent run-up in gas prices is prompting more people to use public transportation. Another article, however, claims that changes to driving habits come in the form of choosing more efficient vehicles or just driving less.
In the interest of full disclosure, the first article is filed under the opinion section. And the claims of the two articles are not entirely opposed to one another. Both articles acknowledge that ridership is up; however, the second article notes that only half of the transit riders who considered trains a way to cut costs were still riding six months later. The convenience factor of cars, it seems, is just too great.
Also in the court of differing opinions: the second Times article’s statement that “riding a Metrolink train also is more of a ‘lifestyle choice’ made by professional workers who have more flexibility with their schedules” v. Lisa Simpson, describing buses as “the ride of choice for the poor and very poor alike.”