Public transit agencies across the United States are lately encountering a curious double-bind: ridership has increased quickly and dramatically, straining current capacity, and at the same time, significantly higher fuel costs have stretched many transit budgets too far. If the current ridership boom had taken hold when fuel prices were much lower, transit agencies would theoretically have been able to cope by steadily expanding service to meet demand and wouldn’t need to raise fares or cut services. But, alas, since ridership surges have coincided with big increases in fuel costs, many transit providers are struggling to stay afloat. According to a survey from the American Public Transportation Association, over half of transit agencies in the U.S. are raising fares, some 20 percent are cutting services, and many of them are going millions of dollars over budget. “The difficulty of high gas prices is that it is a dual-edged sword,” said APTA President William Millar. “It is bringing more ridership. … Unfortunately, transit agencies are huge users of petroleum-based fuel.”