IMPROVING TRANSIT USAGE IN SMALL URBAN AREAS

A demonstration program is reported which offered free rides to anyone working in the Downtown Salem (Oregon) area. The response to the program is enthusiastic, but it remains to be seen what impact a resumption of full or partial fares would have on the new riders. A significant number of new riders came from single-occupant autos. Only 37% of the new bus riders reported they previously paid for parking. However, a new program to reduce the amount of close-in free parking in the downtown area is expected to further increase bus ridership. The key factor in creating this program was the availability of excess peak-hour bus capacity. The relative cost, travel time and convenience of auto vs. transit travel has kept transit at a competitive disadvantage in the Salem area. However, at very little expense, it has been demonstrated that the cost impact can have a disadvantage on ridership. The public relations value of the program is also noted. The Transit service has gained increased exposure and acceptance among the business community as a positive force in downtown redevelopment. The no-cost fringe benefit to both employers and employees has turned transit services from a social service for the captive rider to a community service for everyone.

Media Info

  • Features: Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 41-50
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00178711
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 27 1981 12:00AM