More people than ever are riding the bus in Fort Saskatchewan.
The local transit system had a record-breaking 5000 trips in March, an increase of almost 700 trips over March 2017. Transit also marked two other milestones last month: its busiest day (Mar.16 with 336 trips) and busiest week (Mar.12-16 with 1400 trips). The previous monthly record was 4631 trips in November 2017.
City transit supervisor Anthony Dionigi attributed the new record in part to an overall good quality of service.
"We have some really good bus drivers who actively pay attention to the needs of riders. They remember their names, where they have to get off," he said.
He also chalked it up to changes that took place after the transit system relaunched in September 2016.
"Now we have different buses that are visually more appealling. People know that it's a transit system, that we have real bus stops with asphalt and bus stop signs," Dionigi said. "So I think it's just general awareness that we have a transit system in town really attributes to the ridership."
Dionigi reported that ridership has increased steadily since the relaunch. The city is seeing a growing number of children under 12 riding the bus, particularly on Fridays, the system's busiest day.
"We have a lot of school groups and day cares and different kinds of groups who are under 12 using the bus. Morning and afternoon there's a peak, and actually there's times where we've been getting so busy that it's actually delaying the transit system."
Dionigi also said that the city is getting positive feedback about the recently installed heated bus shelters.