A Steamboat Springs Transit bus cruises through downtown Steamboat Wednesday afternoon. Bus ridership on the local service is currently 4 percent higher than it was at this time in summer 2013.

Photo by Scott Franz

A Steamboat Springs Transit bus cruises through downtown Steamboat Wednesday afternoon. Bus ridership on the local service is currently 4 percent higher than it was at this time in summer 2013.

Steamboat Springs bus ridership on the rise again this summer

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Expect bus delays during construction

Like all other vehicles in town, Steamboat Springs Transit buses will move more slowly during a major construction project that's about to start on U.S. Highway 40.

"We just know there are going to be traffic delays," Steamboat Springs Transit Manager Jonathan Flint said.

He said the service will do its best to adapt to traffic delays caused by the construction.

Just like people who are driving their own vehicles, bus riders should leave earlier to allow for more time to get to and from their destinations.

Crews with Connell Resources, working for the Colorado Department of Transportation, will start the major paving project next week.

To learn more, click here.

It's been a hot summer for Steamboat Springs Transit.

Transit Manager Jonathan Flint said Wednesday that bus ridership this summer currently is running about 4 percent higher this year than last year.

The increase comes as the bus service nears the end of what typically is its busiest month of the summer.

The service hit an annual service milestone earlier this week when it carried its 750,000th passenger of 2014.

"We are running at about 30,000 passengers ahead of this time in 2013," Flint said Wednesday. "We're definitely on the uptick."

The buses carried nearly 7,000 passengers in town July 4.

They have carried 189,113 passengers so far this summer.

A number of factors influence the summer ridership numbers.

They include how many people are using the bus to commute to work, how many visitors are in town and how popular the Yampa River is for tubing.

The start of the tubing season this year coincided with the busy Fourth of July weekend and has kept the buses busy since.

"We draw passengers from quite a few different things," Flint said. "We've had these nice warm days, and the town has been busy."

The city's bus service carried 1,095,696 riders last year, which was a 7 percent jump above the 2012 ridership.

Flint put the service's ridership totals in perspective Tuesday night at a forum focused on alternative transportation.

He said Steamboat Springs Transit's local and regional service accounts for about 10 percent of all the rural bus ridership in the state of Colorado.

Steamboat Springs Transit ridership (1991-2013)

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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