It says more than 700,000 people rode the bus during that time.
Frederick, Md (KM) TransIT of Frederick County has exceeded its ridership goal for fiscal year 2023 which was from July 1st, 2022 to June 30th, 2023. During that time, the agency says more than 700,000 people took the bus, and that includes the Connector, Shuttle and TransIT Plus buses..
Mary Dennis, TransIT’s Communications Manager, says the buses are fare-free, and that helped boost ridership. “We haven’t charged since March of 2020. So I think that the lack of financial barriers significantly increased our ridership,” she says.
Dennis says TransIt makes up for this lost revenue with money from the CARES Act which was approved by Congress and signed by the President in March, 2020. It provides direct economic relief to American workers, families, small businesses and industries which suffered through the COVID-19 pandemic. She also says TransIT receives some funding for federal and state sources.
She was asked how long these free rides on TransIT buses will last. “We don’t have a time frame. We’re hoping to keep it like that. We think it benefits everyone riding because everyone wants to save money,” says Dennis.
TransIT also gives credit to it Travel Training Program in encouraging more people to hop on the bus rather than drive their cars. “Through Travel Training, we’ll help people read the bus schedule, know where their stops are located and teach them how to use Google Transit,” she says.
Dennis says TransIt of Frederick County will continue to reach out to citizens, and get them to use the bus rather than drive. For one thing, she says, taking the bus means you don’t have to pay as much for gasoline to power your car, and you don’t have to deal with some of the headaches of driving.
By Kevin McManus