A record 13,000 more people rode the bus in November compared with the same month a year ago - a "phenomenal" 19 percent increase in ridership, the Utah Transit Authority said.

"The ridership level was already on a rec-ord-breaking course before the gulf crisis and has broken all previous levels after the gulf crisis," a UTA spokesman said.Passenger counts show an average 81,212 people rode the bus each weekday in November, compared with an average 68,238 in November 1989.

Officials credit the increase to environmental consciousness, rising gasoline prices and traffic congestion. UTA said the additional ridership has resulted in standing loads during peak hours.

UTA projects this year's ridership to be more than 20.5 million, compared to 18.9 million last year.