Houston Sees Public Transportation Ridership Rise

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HOUSTON (AP) Long known for big pickup trucks and even bigger traffic jams, Texas' largest city is seeing its public transportation ridership rise.

Houston's Metro Transit Authority recorded nearly 2.26 million trips on buses, trains and its light-rail system in 2013, up 2.76 percent from the previous year.

That's among the largest increases in the nation, according to data released Monday by the American Public Transportation Association.

Metro spokeswoman Margaret O'Brien-Molina said Houston's booming economy has created more jobs locally - which means more residents using public transportation to get to them.

But she also said ridership is up at suburban park-and-ride centers in the country's fourth-largest city.

In all, Americans took nearly 10.7 billion trips on public transportation in 2013 - the highest total since 1956.