AC Transit’s ridership has grown by 19,512 daily passengers, a remarkable increase that coincides with an infusion of new buses, fewer calls for road service and a dramatic drop in the number of missed trips. New figures show the agency’s average daily bus ridership has jumped by eleven percent from 178,042 in 2012 to 197,554 at the end of October 2013.
The increase is attributed to several factors, including a string of new performance initiatives that were put in place to maximize resources and improve operational efficiencies.
Consistent improvements in service reliability have been the key. The improvements include a reduction in missed trips and better maintenance procedures to reduce the number of breakdowns (road calls) while vehicles are on the road. Consequently, the agency is operating 99.51 percent of daily routes and registering more than 5,000 miles between road calls—1,000 miles more than a year ago.
“With the initiatives and improvements, we are seeing progressive growth,” said AC Transit General Manager David Armijo. “We are adding new buses. We are making plans to expand our service. And we will continue to implement other changes to benefit and attract more riders.”
Aside from being visually appealing, new buses are being acquired because they offer fuel efficiency and far less maintenance. In the past year, more than 100 new buses have phased out older, less-reliable coaches. By the end of 2014, AC Transit will have replaced more than a third of its 600 bus fleet with 210 new, low-floor coaches that offer a host of passenger conveniences for better accessibility.
Also, a cleanliness program is underway to make sure that even the older buses sparkle like new — inside and out. And there are several employee task forces focusing on areas such as:
- On-time performance with teams of street supervisors to ensure adherence to schedules;
- Reducing the number of accidents for both passengers and employees
The task forces and new initiatives are part of “A Better Ride” campaign to establish new policies to upgrade bus services.