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Ridership up almost 20 percent on the Gold Line

May 28, 2008 |  1:07 pm

Up_up_and_away2 So spiking gas prices have done what no amount of begging, pleading or green-guilting could achieve -- growth in ridership on local rail lines, the Star-News reports. The Gold Line takes top honors with a 19 percent increase, while the Red Line boasts a more modest 5 percent rise.

"When we begin to approach the $5 mark, we anticipate more people will start to park their SUVs and start using public transit for their commute," [Metro spokesman Rick] Jaeger said.

The hike in Gold Line ridership has been evident for a while to longtime users at the Sierra Madre Villa Station in East Pasadena, which had already filled to its nearly 1,000-vehicle capacity by 9 a.m. Tuesday.

"I can't find any parking at all anymore when I come at 11 a.m.," said Linette Dai, who uses the Gold Line occasionally to get to her job in Chinatown. "Before, you could find some really great parking spots in the morning."

You'll shell out $1.25 for a one-way ticket on the Metro Rail, no matter where it goes. Ride all day for just five bucks, which many expect will soon be the price of a gallon of gas.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo:     bruceamackenzie / Your Scene