Sept. 01--PEORIA -- Nearly three months after CityLink began Sunday bus service, ridership numbers have remained steady.
After numerous comments from the public in recent years that Sunday bus transportation was necessary for churchgoers, Sunday workers and grocery shoppers, CityLink began Sunday service for the first time since 1970 on June 8.
"We didn't know what to expect from Sunday service because we've never done it," said Anna Buehrer, CityLink director of marketing and public relations. "That first day, people were curious."
Though that first Sunday constituted the highest number of riders, each subsequent Sunday has seen a nearly identical total. The June 8 tally had 2,696 riders using CityLink buses, while the average ridership every Sunday since was 2,549 riders with a trough of only 2,489 on June 29. Those figures received a stamp of approval from CityLink officials and indicated that Sunday bus service should have some staying power.
"We're very pleased with the ridership and the routes," Buehrer said. "People are not having to pay taxi fares and don't have to ask family and friends for rides. From our perspective, that's very encouraging."
The Sterling Avenue bus route, which makes stops at popular destinations such as Northwoods Mall and the Walmart on North University Street, had the most riders out of the nine routes offered on Sundays. Those nine routes represented the most heavily traveled of the 20 routes offered by CityLink during the work week.
Buehrer said that no changes are slated for Sunday routes or schedules, which also means that adding an East Peoria and Pekin route on Sunday is not in the works. CityLink ferries riders to and from those two cities during the week, but they were not selected as routes when Sunday service was being planned. Buehrer said it's up to those cities to make that request to CityLink.
"Any citizens that think they need bus transportation need to contact their City Council," Buehrer said. "Our planning staff will continue reviewing routes and schedules to see if changes need to be made."
Thomas Bruch can be reached at 686-3262 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasBruch.
Copyright 2014 - Journal Star, Peoria, Ill.