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Use of Public Transportation in US Highest in Almost 60 Years



For VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report.

A record number of Americans are moving into cities. When they move into or near cities, they drive less. New York City is one of the top cities for new people and for users of public transportation. People take about 3.4 billion rides on New York City trains and buses every year. That is about one-third of all mass transportation use in the US.

The New York City public transportation system operates 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. It costs $1.5 billion a year to operate. And, it is one of the world's oldest public transport systems. The city's fist underground railroad opened in 1904.

Across the US use of city public transportation is the highest it has been in almost 60 years. The researchers says Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation in 2012.

Gene Russianoff is with the Straphangers Campaign. The group supports people who take public transportation. He says younger Americans are causing the rise in mass transit use. He says they are less car-centered. Many people say public transportation is less costly than car use and is better for the environment.

New York City is planning several major expansions of its system. One project is a new $4.7 billion subway line. The first part of the project is expected to be completed in 2016. The most costly planned project is a $7 billion tunnel from Long Island into Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal.

Andrew Albert is a member of the board of the Metropolitan Transit Authority. He says more people are using public transportation because it has gotten more dependable.

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