Good Monday morning everyone! I have some great news to report, although I am reporting this rather late. As always though, it’s better late than never.
Despite continued reductions in local, state, and federal funding, public transit ridership continues to rise! For Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), the month of August was definitely no exception.
During the month of August; the HART bus system posted total ridership of 1,268,962, and the PSTA bus system posted a total ridership of 1,258,540. These numbers continue to be phenomenal, as more and more people are choosing public transit to get to where they need to go!
On average, daily bus ridership on HART is now at around 49,000, while PSTA’s average daily ridership is now at around 44,000. While these figures are great, please keep in mind that weekend ridership is generally lower than weekday ridership. Typical weekend ridership can be about half the weekday numbers.
HART’s MetroRapid and PSTA’s North County Connector services are leading the way with excellent growth!
August’s ridership numbers can be reinforced by the rise in popularity of two relatively new bus services. In Hillsborough County, HART began its new “lite” version of Bus Rapid Transit, known as MetroRapid, in May of 2013. In Pinellas County, PSTA launched its own version of HARTflex, called the North County Connector, in December of 2012.
HART’s MetroRapid service allowed for new bus service in the Tampa Palms area, including Hidden River Corporate Park, and PSTA’s North County Connector provided for new transit connections in Oldsmar, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, East Lake, and Countryside, as well as connections to HART’s Northwest Transfer Center in Town-N-Country, creating a fourth cross-county connection. Both of these services will eventually assist in the creation of even more local and express bus routes throughout both counties.
Growth on both HART’s MetroRapid North-South Line and PSTA’s North County Connector services have been exceeding initial expectations! In August, HART reported an increase of 24.2% along the MetroRapid corridor, from its revenue service inception in June to August 31. PSTA meanwhile, reported a ridership increase of 21% between July and August alone! These numbers clearly show that both of these services will further enhance the well-being of both districts for many months (and hopefully years) to come!
Of course, I’m not quite finished yet, cause I have even more awesome news! Both HART and PSTA will be enhancing bus services come later this fall, all thanks to cost savings realized by cutting out unnecessary expenses! Later this month, I will be blogging about what exactly was cut out of their budgets and how both districts are using the money they saved to restore services that were previously cut due to budget cuts, as well as to enhance busy bus routes.
Enjoy your Monday!