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Sponsored in part by the Board of County Commissioners, St. Lucie County, Florida.

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April 17, 2006

People Are Turning To Public Transportation

High gas prices have people looking for alternative transportation

Tom Derzypolski

(Ft. Pierce, Fla.) - Prior to the mid 1950's and the explosion of the automobile industry, public transportation was a way of life for a majority of people. Today, because of rising gas prices and more efficient public transportation systems, American's are returning to public transportation.

According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), use of public transportation is up 25 percent as compared to ten years ago. This trend can be seen right here in St. Lucie and Martin Counties as ridership on the Treasure Coast Connector (TCC) continues to rise. The TCC is expected to reach 60,000 by the end of this year, a 26 percent increase from 2005.

"There's no question that rising gas prices are making everyone look for more affordable transportation options," said Gregg Laskoski, managing director, public and government relations for AAA Auto Club South.

Public transportation is the most cost effective way to travel, especially today. While gas prices continue to rise, the TCC's dollar per trip fare remains the same. As a passenger, all you need to do is hop on and ride; no high prices at the pump, oil changes or other car maintenance to worry about.

"We are pleased to offer service throughout St. Lucie and Martin Counties at such an affordable price," said Marianne Arbore, Transit Director. "There's a huge cost savings with today's rising fuel prices."

There are more advantages to using public transportation than just saving money. It gets people places: work, school, home, shopping and recreation. Additionally, passengers can make better use of their time while riding, whether it be reading the newspaper or that book they've been meaning to pick up, preparing for a morning meeting, working on their laptop or just relaxing.

The Treasure Coast Connector began operation in 2002 and now connects the communities of St. Lucie and Martin Counties with three fixed routes. Service is scheduled Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. For more information, visit www.treasurecoastconnector.com or call 722-464-8878 in St. Lucie County or 772-286-8818 in Martin County.