Bus Ridership

Ridership is the bottom line for any transit agency. Every benefit a transit agency can offer a community and every reason given to justify investing in transit relates to ridership. The more customers, the greater the benefits and better use of investment. However building ridership is the result of an interaction of several factors. Like the three-legged stool; removal of any one of these factors depresses ridership. The customer at first determines if transit is viable for a particular trip (product design or service planning). If the product meets this standard, the customer needs to be enticed to sample transit and must find out how to use it (marketing, promotion, public information). If the product is good and the customer knows how to use and is enticed to sample transit, the experience they have while riding determines if the customer will keep coming back (transportation and maintenance). One strategy for developing a holistic ridership building approach is to have a Ridership Growth Working Group. This group, which meets on a regular basis, consists of representatives of every job class within the transit agency including drivers and mechanics, a representative of citizen’s advisory groups and possibly a representative of the policy board. The rationale for such a working group is to: (1) tap the ideas and talents of the entire organization; (2) provide an integrative or holistic approach to building ridership; and (3) develop ownership and enthusiasm throughout the organization for the strategies ultimately employed. The work plan for the working group includes: (1) Brainstorming - putting every conceivable idea on the table; (2) Evaluating ideas based on likelihood of positive results, resources needed and challenges to implementation; (3) Identifying short term strategies - those that can be done with existing resources; and longer term strategies - those that are promising but require new resources, legislative actions, completion of planned capital projects, etc.; (4) Developing a plan for implementation; (5) Monitoring progress and recommending course corrections; and (6) Develop strategies for obtaining resources to carry out long-term ideas utilizing the same steps described above starting with brainstorming. This paper will summarize the experiences in setting up a Ridership Growth Working Group at the Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority in Bridgeport CT.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Pagination: 4p
  • Monograph Title: 2005 Bus & Paratransit Conference

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01001958
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 1931594163
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 11 2005 2:28PM