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Increase in Americans using public transportation

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(KYTX) - 10.5 billion. A new report shows that's how many rides people took on public transportation in the U.S. last year.

According to the American Public Transportation Association, those numbers are the highest they've been since 2008.

"It's just a better way of going."

Barbara Holly overseas the Tyler Transit system. She says not only does riding the bus save on gas money, it's also much safer and more convenient.

"You can email, you can text, you can read, you can listen to your music, you can interact with people who you may be traveling with, safely."

"You meet new people every day."

20-year-old Nick Price also feels good about taking the bus for environmental reasons.

"It saves on greenhouse gases and pollution."

Shelby Loving also recommends Tyler Transit.

"It pretty much never fails me."

Along with other East Texans, Loving says she relies on Tyler Transit to help get her to work every day. And, without the bus, she says there's no way she'd be able to hold down a job.

"I don't have a car, so it's really difficult for me to get to work. And, the transit system here in Tyler helps out tremendously with that."

And, Holly says over the years, those in her department have worked hard to make sure Tyler Transit is even more reliable for East Texas workers.

"If we can't be there on time, people are not going to use us. So, we're now over 90% that we're going to be there on time."

Loving says she appreciates that on her daily commute.

"It's always on time. The bus drivers are really good. They know where they're going and they know how to make a route shorter if they're running late."

"It's just a more convenient way to go." says Holly.

And for people like Loving and Price, it's the only way to go.

It costs $1 per ride on the bus in Tyler and 50 cents if you're a child or disabled.

Tyler Transit makes about 200,000 trips per year.

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