According to the King County Dept. of Transportation, January –March of 2008 only had an increased ridership of 6% from the same period last year.
Everett reported an 8% increase (my assumption is that it is harder to walk to places in Everett than Seattle and the Naval base probably increases the number of persons without cars[?]). [Source.]
According to some calculations I made at a variety of sites, gas was approximately an average of $3.23 a gallon from January to March of this year, compared to the approximate average of $2.56 over the same period last year. So theoretically, admitting the possibility of other contributing factors, a $.67 increase in gas prices motivated a 6% increase in ridership. Gas is now $4 a gallon, a $.70 increase, so will it follow that another 6% increase is in the making?
If I had more accurate data I could rock this party, but I think it will be interesting to see what happens as gas prices continue to rise. And they will because 6 years ago gas prices and crude oil prices were hovering neck and neck, but as time has passed crude oil prices have shot up dramatically, particularly in the past year or so, but gas prices have not risen proportionately. See nifty chart below. You will notice that crude is now waaaaaaaay up there. So, I would assume that if crude oil prices were simply to hold exactly where they are (snort) we are still looking at at least $6 gas when we catch up.