More people took the bus in Bloomington-Normal during the past year than in any other previous year. Ridership on transit system buses topped two million for the first time in the period running from July first last year through June 30th. Andrew Johnson, the transit system's general manager, says zig-zagging gas prices are part of the reason for the boost in ridership.
"Even though the fuel prices dropped back down, once people tried the bus alot of them tended to stick with it because they saw it not as some alternate means of transportation but as a main source of transportation in the community."
The increase of nearly 13% last fiscal year follows a record for ridership the year before. Johnson says that level of increase will be tough to maintain.
"I don't think we're going to see double-digit increases every year but we certainly should see increases every year for the next several years."
Johnson says the transit system is doing a better job of marketing itself. Later this summer, the system will re-brand itself Connect Transit, a move that will include a new bus logo and image.
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