The Jule’s crosstown Express service, west-end Shopping Circluator routes, Nightrider evening service, and new service along Jackson Street to Terrace Heights have led to significant increases in ridership for Fiscal Year 2014.
These new services, in addition to partnerships with Clarke University, Loras College and University of Dubuque, led to an increase of 29,932 rides or a seven percent increase from July 1, 2013 through June 30.
This year’s increases build on previous years’ success; transit ridership in Dubuque has increased from 373,376 to 478,370, over 100,000 rides or 28 percent in the past five years. Fifty thousand of these rides came between FY2011 and FY2012, during the first round of the Smarter Travel pilot study, and over 30,000 rides came between FY2013 and FY2014, after data was used to restructure The Jule's routes. These route changes resulted in shortened ride times, increased coverage, and extended hours; many trip times were reduced by more than half.
The restructured routes took effect in January 2014 and have had a tremendous impact on the number of rides and access to more locations in the city of Dubuque. Candace Eudaley, director of transit operations for The Jule, said that beginning in January, the month to previous year comparisons have been staggering. “We used to see ourselves exceeding the monthly ridership of the previous year by around 1,000 rides, but as of January, with the new route changes, we’ve seen monthly increases of 3,000 (January) to almost 7,000 (May) rides in a single month”, said Eudaley. “With the increases we’ve seen in just a short time, we’re looking forward to seeing what our ridership looks like with a full year of the new routes.”