Twin Cities bus ridership continues to rise

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Source: Lewiston-Auburn Transit Committee

AUBURN — Twin Cities bus ridership has continued to rise, posting a jump in January for the second straight year.

Citylink ridership posted a 25 percent increase over the first quarter of the system’s fiscal year, continuing a trend that started in September 2009. Citylink’s fiscal year runs from October through September.

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“We don’t have any one thing to thank for it, just the continued economy, high gas prices and better efficiency of the system,” Marsha Bennett, transit coordinator for the Lewiston Auburn Transit Committee, said. 

The committee tweaked services in August 2009, offering two Saturday routes and new stops during the week.

Across the program, bus service was expanded to Little Canada, the B Street Community Center, Geiger, Montello schools and Lewiston Middle School in Lewiston, Auburn Middle School and Edward Little High School, Auburn Plaza and the Auburn Mall Apartments.

The committee also moved the bus system’s Auburn hub from Great Falls Plaza to Hannaford’s on Spring Street.

The result was a spike in ridership that began in September 2009 and has not stopped. January, the least busy month for bus ridership based on ongoing ridership trends, had 26,165 riders in 2012. That was 6,313 riders more than the same month last year, but also 1,000 riders more than June 2011. June has been one of the busier months for the system historically.

“We made the schedule more reliable, and that brought more people to us,” Bennett said. “We just hope it continues.”

staylor@sunjournal.com

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