Steamboat Springs bus ridership increasing
More transit use this winter attributed to late-night schedule
January 6, 2011
By the numbers
Steamboat Springs Transit passenger data
Total riders, 2009: 1,175,237
Total riders, 2010: 1,050,324
Percent change: -11
Winter riders, from start of 2009 season to end of 2009: 161,593
Winter riders, from start of 2010 season to end of 2010: 171,779
Percent change: 6
Source: Steamboat Springs Transit
Steamboat Springs — The city's new late-night bus service is driving an overall increase in passenger numbers for Steamboat Springs Transit so far this winter.
Transit Operations Manager Jonathan Flint said night-time bus ridership, measured from about 8:30 p.m. until the last bus is out of service, is seeing a 25 percent increase this winter. The increase translates to 2,413 more riders from Dec. 16 to the end of the year, compared with the same period in 2009.
During the 16-day period from Dec. 16 to Dec. 31, that's an average of about 150 more bus riders per night than a year ago.
"It looks like things have been extremely successful on this initiative," City Finance Director Deb Hinsvark said Tuesday.
The city began offering extended late-night bus service from downtown to the mountain area Dec. 16. The free service is planned to run through April 10 and offers nightly bus routes that leave Stock Bridge Transit Center at 1, 1:20, 1:40, 2 and 2:20 a.m.
Last year, the city's last bus left the Transit Center at 1 a.m. nightly. Steamboat Springs City Council gave unanimous, final approval Tuesday night to the allocation of $45,000 to fund the expanded service. The money comes from mineral lease and severance tax dollars in 2010 and 2011.
John Dickson, of Dickson Productions, said the new service is "a huge asset" for MusicFest at Steamboat. The multiday concert series starts today at the base of Steamboat Ski Area and is expected to bring about 5,000 visitors.
Flint said overall, Steamboat Springs Transit rider numbers decreased about 11 percent in 2010, to 1,050,324 riders last year, compared with the 1,175,237 riders who hopped on a free bus in 2009.
This winter, though, is seeing a 6 percent increase in ridership. Since transit's winter schedule started the weekend of Nov. 20, Flint said, 171,779 riders have boarded a city bus, compared with 161,593 for the same period a year ago.
Pilot & Today reporter Nicole Inglis contributed to this story.
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