Weekday ridership is up without even including the new Saturday ridership numbers
When Cherriots added Saturday service and later weekday service in early September, we knew ridership would increase. When the buses spend more hours on the road, more people can ride the bus; it’s simple math. However, we’ve seen weekday ridership increase dramatically since September, without even counting Saturday numbers!
Let’s dive into those numbers. Cherriots Local buses have seen an average year-over-year increase in weekday ridership of 6.4 percent each month since September! On total ridership year-to-date, we’ve seen a 6.5 percent increase. That’s over 80,000 more rides than last year.
And the news is even better on Cherriots Regional buses! They have an average monthly increase in ridership of 9.3 percent for September, October, and November. Year-to-date, ridership is up 9.5 percent over 2018.
Cherriots staff members believe this weekday ridership increase is due to at least two factors. We did add later weekday service to most of our Cherriots Local routes, giving them an additional two hours of service each night. However, there’s also the “halo” effect to consider. Riders now know that they can get to and from where they need to go because they can depend on rides from us later on weekdays as well as on Saturdays. Who knew Saturday service would cause weekday ridership to pick up?
We haven’t forgotten about the Saturday numbers. We’ve given 81,150 rides on Saturdays since service started on Sept. 7 for Cherriots Local and Cherriots Regional. That’s a lot of trips to work, shopping, and family events. We knew this was a needed service, and we are so grateful for the new funding from the State of Oregon that allowed us to add this enhancement.
In June of this year, we also introduced a new lower youth fare for riders ages 6 to 18. We’re excited to share that since September, Youth Day Pass purchases on Cherriots Local are up an average of 42.5 percent each month! We’ve made it easier than ever for youth to get to school and for families to ride together. We’re seeing proof in the numbers that this fare reduction is working.
The latest national statistics for transit agencies of a similar size to Cherriots report a drop in overall ridership of -1.02 percent. We’re excited to share that our recent service enhancements are helping Cherriots buck this nationwide trend with significant ridership increases. To A Better Cherriots!