Steamboat Springs Transit almost has record-breaking summer performance
Steamboat Springs — More and more riders are catching a free ride aboard Steamboat Springs Transit buses this summer.
The city’s free-to-rider bus service has seen its ridership rev up by 7 percent, or 18,369 riders so far this summer season compared to last year.
Year to date, ridership is up 68,000 riders.
“Things are going very well,” Transit Manager Jonathan Flint said Tuesday as he crunched this year’s ridership numbers.
The jump in ridership comes despite relatively stable summer gas prices.
The bus service is on track to carry about 1.1 million or more passengers by the end of this year.
Flint attributed the jumps in ridership to the bus service again having predictable schedules and routes.
“I think we saw a good return to the winter ridership this past winter with the return to those schedules we had run in previous years,” Flint said.
Ridership took a ding after the city made some big changes to the routes to try and save money.
After the routes were restored, ridership started climbing again.
July was the second busiest month in the transit service’s history.
In that month, the bus service transported 93,458 passengers, a figure that was just shy of a record set in July 2008.
Flint said afternoon traffic has kept the bus service just shy of its goal of being on time 85 percent of the time.
Through the middle of August, the city was paying 19 cents less per passenger to run the bus service because of the increased ridership.
Flint said the gains in ridership have been spread among all of the city’s bus lines.
Steamboat isn’t the only mountain resort community where more riders are hopping on buses.
Chris Lubbers, director of ECO Transit in Eagle County, said the bus system there has seen a 9 percent increase in ridership this summer.
He partially attributed that increase to a drop in the local unemployment rate.
Flint said the bus service in Steamboat is currently hiring drivers for the upcoming winter season.
To learn more or to apply, call 970-879-3717.
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The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a winter storm warning for much of the West Slope ahead of a major weather system expected in the area starting Thursday.