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As Arizona's gas prices increase, so does the use of public transportation

With Arizona gas prices at an all-time high, more Valley residents are turning to public transportation.

Arizona’s average price for a regular gallon of gas has reached about $4.60, almost 30 cents higher than the national average.

Brittany Hoffman is with Valley Metro. She says the price of gas has always influenced ridership numbers, going back to 2008’s gas crisis.

“There was an entire campaign that was called ‘Dump the Pump’ back in 2008. When we saw the surging gas prices at the same time, there was a jump in ridership,” said Hoffman.

Hoffman says over the past six months, ridership has steadily crept up along with gas prices. Light rail saw 42,000 riders the first weekend of March. That’s the highest total since the pandemic began.

Ridership in February increased about 53% from the same time last year — about 250,000 riders.

More Arizona transportation news

Vaughan Jones is the weekend reporter for KJZZ, and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, with a minor in music. As a Phoenix native, Jones’s dream is to serve his community by covering important stories in the metropolitan area.He spent two years as music director at Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station. His passion for radio stems from joining Blaze his freshman year as a DJ.When he is not working, Jones can be found writing music with his band, playing video games with his friends, or watching his favorite Phoenix-area sports teams.