Ridership aboard Metropolitan Transit System vehicles set a record for March, the second straight month of record ridership for the system.
There were 7,780,227 trips taken during March 2012, a 1.2 percent increase over the same period last year. Bus ridership in March was up 0.7 percent to 4.9 million trips and Trolley ridership was up 3.8 percent to 2.89 million trips.
For the nine months ending March 31 in fiscal year 2012, there have been 66.12 million trips on the MTS network, up 5.1 percent over the same period last year. Ridership is expected to reach 89 million trips for the entire fiscal year ending June 30, 2012. The record for one year was set in fiscal year 2009 when there was 91.6 million trips.
Higher employment and soaring gas prices are the leading causes for the ridership gains.
To meet increased demand, MTS is considering adding services beginning in September. Changes would include increasing frequency and hours served, as well as restoring some Sunday services. The additional service is made possible by increasing revenues from passenger fares, sales taxes and the reinstatement of State Transit Assistance funding.
“We want to add services that will best meet the demand and provide the best opportunity for people to access our system,” said Paul Jablonski, chief executive officer of MTS. “Monthly passes that provide unlimited rides on our entire system can be cheaper than just one tank of gas.”
The American Public Transportation Association calculates that the average two-person household who gives up one car in favor of riding public transportation can save more than $10,000 a year.
MTS operates more than 90 bus routes and three Trolley lines on 53 miles of double-tracked railway. For more information on how you can use public transportation and save money, go to www.sdmts.com.