Rising gas prices have caused a big increase in transit ridership in Loudoun County, Virginia, where officials are looking to expand their bus fleet and capacity to handle the jump in demand.
"Loudoun officials are working on a long-term plan to enhance public transit services in the county, a project that has taken on new importance as rising gas costs have caused a spike in bus ridership."
"Ridership on county-owned commuter buses was 23 percent higher from January through April than during the same four-month period in 2007, according to the Loudoun County Office of Transit and Commuter Services. The agency operates 90 bus routes that take commuters from Loudoun to the District, Rosslyn, the Pentagon and the West Falls Church Metro station."
"More than 72,000 people rode county buses in April, making it the busiest month in the system's history."
"To keep up with demand, the county added two buses -- at a cost of $485,000 each -- to its 35-bus fleet this month, and transit officials expect to get state funding in July to purchase three buses, Gourley said. Those buses will join the fleet by March. She said the county also is considering leasing additional buses."