Record Breaking Numbers for Public Transit in 2013
In 2013 Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation, which is the highest annual public transit ridership in 57 years, according to a report from the American Public Transportation Corporation (APTA).
Locally, Transpo experienced a slight decrease in overall ridership (less than half a percent); however, 12 of the 19 fixed routes saw increased ridership:
#6 South Michigan
#7 Notre Dame/UP Mall
#12/14 Rum Village/Sample
#15A UP Mall via Main
#15B UP Mail via Grape
#16 Blackthorn Express
Public transit agencies nationwide indicate numbers are up most likely due to the improving economy. Typically when more people are employed, they turn to public transportation for their commute. In South Bend, economic recovery can be both good and bad. For example, the local Ivy Tech campus indicated their overall enrollment was down approximately 10% for 2013 as individuals may have left the classroom to return to the workplace. Transpo and Ivy Tech partner together to provide affordable transportation options for students, employees and faculty so the decline in enrollment correlates to Transpo's slight decrease in ridership for 2013.
Transpo expects ridership numbers to rebound for 2014 as a result of continued service improvements. The new user-friendly website will soon feature a trip planner which will make the system easier to navigate. Transpo is also moving forward with the designated bus stops. The conversion will take place route by route later this year.