Port Huron, MI (PressExposure) November 28, 2009 -- Blue Water Area Transit continues to show a steady growth in ridership, with October weighing in as the transit agency's second busiest month to date with 90,836 trips. The month represents a 35.4 percent jump in two years and an 8.5 percent jump in one year, with 67,073 trips in October 2007 and 83,738 trips in October 2008.
The transit agency's growth in ridership comes at a time when national averages are beginning to decline, with a slight dip of 2.6 percent in the first half of 2009. National figures from the American Public Transportation Association show 5.275 billion trips during the first half of 2008 and 5.139 billion trips during the first half of 2009.
The APTA also shows Blue Water Area Transit experiencing a 10.11 percent increase between the same two semiannual periods. BWAT had 539,300 trips during the first half of 2008 and 593,800 trips during the first half of 2009.
Local transit officials believe that people are attracted to low bus fares, easy-to-use bicycle racks, new routes and services, and extended hours that better match work schedules.
"We keep adding improvements in order to stay sensitive to our community's need for economical, comfortable, and user-friendly service," says Linda Bruckner, Blue Water Area Transportation Commission Board vice chair.
"Increased ridership is also good for the environment, because fewer cars are on the road and our buses run on compressed natural gas," explains Jim Wilson, BWAT general manager.
Compressed natural gas is an alternative fuel that saves money, promotes a clean environment by reducing carbon emissions, and reduces American dependence on foreign oil.