More people are using public transportation in the Halifax region.
Ridership was up four per cent and revenues increased by 2.5 per cent, according a report delivered to the transit standing committee Thursday.
“This is like Christmas, when ridership and revenue go up,” said Coun. Shawn Cleary.
The sentiment was echoed by other councillors.
“This is great. The numbers are excellent,” said Coun. Waye Mason. He added he would like to see more data on buses operating at full capacity that are unable to pick up more passengers, to see where service can be further improved.
The report featured data from July, August and September 2018, which was compared to the same months in 2017.
Patricia Hughes, manager of planning and scheduling with Halifax Transit, said the Access-A-Bus service contributed to the increase. More trips were requested through the program this year — a 4.7 per cent increase.
There was a 5.7 per cent increase in conventional boardings – boardings on all standard buses – from 2017 to 2018. The number of buses arriving on time also improved between the two years. It’s now at 76 per cent.
Another reason for the ridership bump was major route changes in August 2018, when three new corridor routes — routes that service high-demand areas — and five new express routes replaced old routes. Minor changes were also made to some other routes.
“It was a lot of change for a lot of people,” Hughes said. “But it was a successful implementation.”