Burlington transit ridership increases more than the national level. 5.6% in Burlington; 4.9 elsewhere

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON December 9, 2011  – More people taking the bus – we’re not sure why but the numbers are not only up but they are up more than the national average of 4.9% increase in ridership for the first half of 2011.

Burlington Transit has recorded an  increase of 5.6 per cent in ridership during the first half of 2011.  You certainly see and experience the increase at the bus terminal on John Street.

Rush hour in Burlington at the John Street terminal tells that ridership is rising

Public transit ridership statistics across Canada for the first six months of 2011 showed an increase of 4.9 per cent compared to January to June the previous year, according to the Canadian Urban Transit Association. The increase in Canadian transit ridership represents an addition of more than 45 million new trips taken by Canadians on public transit in the six-month period, a trend that builds on the growth of previous decades.

In the first six months of 2011, BT’s ridership increased 5.6 per cent over the same period last year.

“We’re thrilled to see Burlington Transit ridership growth ahead of the national average,” said Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring, who tends not to take the bus to work. “Public transit is a key element in the preservation of our environment and this council is working hard to increase the level of active transportation in our community”, he added

By the end of June 2011, Burlington Transit reached the milestone of more than 2 million revenue passengers over the 12 months from July 2010 to June 2011 (2,015,452 passengers).

This represents the highest 12-month ridership in 15 years and a 68.6 per cent ridership increase since 1996. During the 15-year period, Burlington’s population grew by 28.3 per cent and Burlington  Transit  service hours increased by 33.5 per cent.

“The long-term growth is crucial,” said Donna Shepherd, Burlington’s director of transit.  She might have added that the increase in ridership assures what the human resources people refer to as “job retention”.  Sheppard ads: Going forward, the 10-year Transit Master Plan, currently underway, will continue to build a strong foundation for future growth.”

No mention of a price increase but the city budget has yet to be struck.

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