Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report

Turning CO2 into mattresses

Jun 24, 2019

Latest Episodes

Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Tech
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
This Is Uncomfortable
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report

Mass transit braces for fed-up drivers

Sam Eaton Jun 2, 2008
Share Now on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Bob Moon: We Americans aren’t the only ones desperate for some relief from rising fuel prices. From truckers and taxi drivers to fishermen, protests continued across Europe today. In France, truckers blockaded refineries and brought traffic to a crawl with slow-moving convoys. In Portugal, fishermen simply left their boats tied up at the docks for a fourth straight day.

Here at home, the Wall Street Journal reported today some employers are switching to a four-day work week to reduce the number of trips to and from the office, and even public transportation is seeing a record jump in ridership. But there’s a hitch.

From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Sam Eaton reports.


Sam Eaton: The American Public Transportation Association reported today that the number of people riding buses and trains rose more than 3 percent in first three months of the year. Light rail saw a 10 percent jump.

Association spokesman Mantill Williams says that’s breaking records:

Mantill Williams: The last time we’ve seen these type of numbers is probably back like in the 70s when we had oil embargoes when there was some issues with supply.

Williams says $4 a gallon gasoline appears to be the tipping point, but he says this time, there’s no sign of relief.

Williams: So once we move more beyond $4 per gallon, we think that you’re gonna see an even bigger increase in ridership.

That sounds like a good thing for the nation’s cash-strapped public transportation systems, but transportation engineer Steven Polzin with the University of South Florida says few cities can handle the increased ridership.

Steven Polzin: Just a small shift of drivers to public transportation means a huge increase from public transportation’s perspective.

Only about 5 percent of American workers commute by bus or train. Polzin says most of today’s transit systems were designed with that in mind, and adding more trains, buses and rails can take decades.

Polzin: It’s a little bit like the obesely overweight patient who wants to purchase something off of the programming for $19.95 and get thin in two weeks. Doesn’t happen.

Especially when budget shortfalls and rising fuel costs for buses have already caused a fifth of the nation’s public transportation systems to cut service.

I’m Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air.  But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.

Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.

When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.

Make a good investment!

Looking for a great deal?
Get ALL THREE of our new thank-you gifts when you donate $120.

This is a limited time offer – so act soon!