Jule Transit Sees Record Ridership

Nov. 13, 2015

The Jule continues to see increases in transit ridership for a sixth consecutive year. Transit usage in Dubuque rose to over 500,000 annual rides from a low in 2003 of 205,700.  The Jule’s crosstown Express service, west-end Shopping Circulator routes, Nightrider evening service, and service from downtown to Senior High School led to significant increases in ridership for the past fiscal year (July 2014 – June 2015).  

This year’s increases build on previous years’ success; annual transit ridership in Dubuque has increased over the past six years from 373,376 to 548,794, over 175,000 rides or 47 percent. Routes were restructured in January 2014 and again with the opening of the Intermodal Facility in August 2015.  

“We made cost-saving changes to routes with the opening of the Intermodal Facility that allowed us to maintain service to all but one area, and continue to provide service to areas with low ridership, but at reduced frequency,” said Transit Manager Candace Eudaley-Loebach, “We’ve seen good ridership so far this year and are on track to see an increase in rides per dollar spent on transit service for the current fiscal year.” 

New Bus Stop Amenities Provide Shelter from Winter Weather 

This fall, the Jule partnered with Goodwill Industries, St. Mary’s Apartments and Windsor Apartments to install bus shelters near their locations to provide a covered place for passengers to wait for the bus.  These shelters were no longer needed at their previous location of 6th & Iowa Streets and were relocated following the opening of the new Intermodal Transfer at 9th & Elm Streets. Passengers riding the Brown Shopper North, Grey Kane and Red Linwood routes now have access to bus shelters mid-route. The Jule has nine other shelters serving various routes in the system.  

Preparing for Future Transit Routes and Services

Moving forward, and building on the Inclusive Dubuque Equity Profile, The Jule is seeking more detailed input from residents who use or consider using public transit services. 

“We need to have information in hand as we go forward seeking grants and other funding sources to adjust or increase service. We get amazing detail on ridership during our current hours of service from our onboard software, but we keep hearing from the public and the Equity Profile that people want service until 9 p.m. or later,” said Eudaley-Loebach  “What we need the public to tell us through this survey process is ‘where do you want to go from 6-9 p.m.? From nine to midnight? Which routes would you use?’”