ON: Fifty Million Riders for Durham Region Transit

Just shy of its sixth anniversary, ridership on Durham Region Transit has topped the 50-million mark.

Ridership has continued to grow year after year, as additional routes have been added across Durham. According to the Region, student fares account for 45 per cent of total rides.

"Durham Region Transit ridership has increased 41.7 per cent or 2.85 million additional riders per year since the inception of regional transit service. In

2012, DRT anticipates 10 million passengers will be using the service annually," said Durham Region chair Roger Anderson, who also heads the transit commission.

"Durham Region will continue its commitment to invest in the transit needs of residents and continue to move forward with a planned long-term transit strategy."

In Brock, the Region operates a community bus service that rolls through the township three times per day, five days a week.

There was a modest increase in ridership on the community bus in 2010, with 2,075 one-way "trips" -- an increase of roughly 50. It's been running five days a week in Brock since 2007 and travels through Beaverton, Cannington and Sunderland and south to Uxbridge.

Along with the community bus, there is also a specialized service for those with accessibility concerns that runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Locally, the specialized service is often supplemented by taxis as a cost-savings measure.

"The focus will remain on providing residents of the eight municipalities in Durham Region with the most effective and efficient public transit service possible. DRT has implemented 11 new or expanded routes, added 43,400 service hours, revitalized and grown its fleet with 116 accessible buses since amalgamation", said Ted Galinis, the general manager of Durham Region Transit.

To celebrate passing the 50 million mark in ridership, transit officials and area politicians selected nine grand prize winners -- one in each Durham municipality and one for the specialized service.

Winners each received free transit tickets and a prize package. Cannington resident Gloria Humphrey -- who catches the bus every day to get to her job in Uxbridge -- was the winner in Brock and received her prize from Mayor Terry Clayton on Monday (Nov. 27) morning.

"There's a lot more people using Durham Region Transit," said Mayor Clayton.

"It's a costly venture but it's working."

For more information on Durham Region Transit, including fare information and schedules, visit <a href="http://www.durhamregiontransit.com">www.durhamregiontransit.com

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