WI: RYDE ridership increases back to pre-pandemic numbers

June 17, 2024
The RYDE Racine bus system saw a 40% increase in ridership in 2023, returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Jun. 15—RACINE — The RYDE Racine bus system saw a 40% increase in ridership in 2023, returning to pre-pandemic levels.

In 2023, RYDE Racine provided 1,037,031 unique rides, according to the City of Racine.

"This is something that we're particularly proud of, being able to fully recover from the pandemic that hit all transit agencies across the United States particularly hard," Racine Transit & Mobility Director Trevor Jung said.

Jung said the increase in ridership reflects both a recovery from the pandemic and a result of the city's "laser focus" on expanding access to public transportation through community partnerships.

These partnerships include partnerships with Racine Unified School District and Gateway Technical College, as well as the Veterans RYDE program, which provides free access to fixed-route transit in Racine for veterans.

"Even without expanding the system itself, you've got more people utilizing the transit system," Jung said.

Mayor Cory Mason said the combination of expanding access to veterans and Gateway students and the city's addition to electric fleet buses contributed to a "really positive atmosphere of success."

Mason and Jung both said public transit is a "workforce solution" for Racine County businesses, as well, giving workers a reliable way to get to work every day.

"For a lot of transit riders, it really is what gives them access to to their job, to their doctor, to groceries, and it really allows them to move around the community in a way that other people might take for granted," Mason said.

Jung said based on 2024 ridership trends, the city expects to see more than one million unique rides this year, as well.

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