By Yessenia Anderson
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Even as temperatures heat up more and more Josephine County residents are opting to stand at bus stops than drive their own vehicle. Public works officials say they are up 25% in bus ridership from the previous fiscal year and the numbers in these past twelve months have been record breaking all around.
Bus stops in Jospehine County were fairly lonely a few years ago, now buses line up to fulfill a growing demand. Since July of last year, more than 143,000 annual boarding were seen. Aside from unemployment rates and gas prices city officials also believe a new approach has led to this increase.
The system is designed to deliver faster travel times through an integration of all routes. Meaning you might have to transfer buses but you will get to your destination quicker now. In the month of May on average 867 people hopped on board, another record set.
In total for the last two years ridership has increased just over 72%. Resulting in the purchase of two new buses, which are nearly twice the size of the older buses.
Public works officials say even at an all time high they believe this is only the beginning. They anticipate to still see another 15,000 new riders in the coming year.