BOSTON (CBS) – Despite fare increases, the MBTA says ridership has increased for the 18th time in 19 months.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation says weekday ridership for August increased by 1.2 % August 2011, and the MBTA averaged 1.256 million passenger trips per weekday. This increase is after July’s numbers were flat.

“As the economy improves and unemployment dips in the Boston area, folks are getting back to work and need to get to work,” Transportation Secretary and MassDOT CEO Richard Davey told WBZ NewsRadio 1030. “Obviously gas prices continue to hover around the $4 mark so the MBTA continues to be an affordable way to get in and out of Boston.”

In August, subway and trolley (Green Line) average weekday ridership grew by 2.7% and 1.5%, respectively. The only decrease noted was in weekday bus ridership where ridership fell 0.6%, while Commuter Rail ridership increased by 1.4%.

“This is clear evidence that our customers need us and we need to continue to deliver the services that they demand,” Davey said.

MassDot has been holding public meetings to talk about the future of transportation in the state. The next public meeting is set for Tuesday, October 2, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Worcester City Hall.


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