HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Commuters in Connecticut are increasingly taking the bus to avoid gas prices of more than $4 a gallon.

Average daily ridership on commuter lines from Hartford to its suburbs between March and May is up 2.9 percent over the same period last year.

Statewide, commuter express buses run by CT Transit posted even bigger gains. The fleet averaged 8.5 percent more riders a day last month compared with May 2007.

However, if ridership climbs much faster, it will overtax some routes that are unable to handle rising demand. And bus operators will have to figure how and where to expand the system that was intended for suburbanites commuting to the central city in a predictable pattern.

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