October 25, 2014

More students taking the bus

Are college kids giving up on the car? A new report shows Americans are driving less, and young people are turning more to public transportation – for perhaps obvious reasons. “I take a bus or walk to work every day,” said Sara Dobjenski, campus organizer for the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group. “Gas is expensive, cars break down and you have to find parking. I just feel more independent and save money when I use public transit instead of relying on a car.”

The WISPRG report shows a drop in driving in Wisconsin, with young people in particular taking more public transportation.

Chuck Kamp with Madison Metro said a new smartphone app makes it easier for students to catch the bus. “They can plan their route, and they can see where there bus is right now, in real time, based on GPS,” he said. Kamp suggests a safety bonus as well – it’s a lot safer to text on the bus than behind the wheel of a car. Metro Transit set an all time record of 14-point-9 million rides last year, and other public transit systems in the state have also seen growth in ridership.