Report shows use of public transportation increases
Public transportation ridership continued to increase in most regions of the state late this summer as Idahoans looked for ways to offset escalating gas prices and a declining economy.
The largest increase in public transportation rides occurred in District 1, from 25,098 in 2007 to 50,740, led by NICE (North Idaho Community Express) and KATS (Kootenai Area Transit), which collectively were up 258 percent (from 2,730 to 9,776). CitiLink also reported a 92 percent increase.
Total trips reported for August also increased significantly in ITD’s Districts 4 and 3 when compared with figures from the same month in 2007.
The number of total rides, as reported by the Division of Public Transportation, was 21 percent higher in District 4, where service is provided by Mountain Rides and Trans IV. In 2007, 35,249 trips were recorded, compared with 42,496 this year. The largest increase, in terms of percentage, came in the use of vanpools, which increased from 1,401 to 3,937.
Public transportation providers in District 3 reported a 17-percent increase during the 12-month period, from 106,224 trips to 124,275 this year. Service providers include the Ada County Highway District’s Commuteride, Treasure Valley Transit, Mercy Express and ValleyRide.
District 2 reported a modest 7 percent increase in rides while rides declined in Districts 6 and 5. Two large providers – Idaho National Laboratory and Targhee Regional Public Transportation Authority – in District 6 did not report ridership for this August. The 17 percent decline represents rides provided by Lost River Area Transit, a demand-response service.
RideLink was the only provider that reported ridership in District 5, indicating near identical use this year compared with 2007 (295 and 297 respectively).
The Division of Public Transportation reports statewide multi-modal ridership (number of total trips) monthly, including motor bus, intercity, demand-response/paratransit and vanpool activity.