Transit system use surges


Salt Spring Transit is continuing to vastly out-perform systems in other similar communities, showing more trips per capita and better fare-box recovery than any other bus service in its tier.

BC Transit’s senior regional transit manager Myrna Moore presented the system’s annual performance summary to the Salt Spring Transportation Commission at its Nov. 27 meeting. Despite a slight decrease in the number of rides and riders in 2016-17 compared to the previous year, total revenue increased by three per cent and revenue per trip increased by nine per cent.

Salt Spring earned 246 per cent more revenue compared to other systems of its size in British Columbia during 2016-17, and realized operating cost recovery of 43.8 per cent, compared to a tier average of 15.7 per cent.

“It is phenomenal — absolutely phenomenal,” Moore said.

Significantly more people use transit on Salt Spring than in other similar-sized communities, with 19.1 passenger trips per capita compared to a tier average of 2.6 trips.

Several factors are likely to have an impact in the next performance year. These include fare adjustments introduced in May 2017, expanded service hours and the addition of a fifth vehicle to the fleet. Another service expansion planned for June 2018 will bring the system up to date with the goals of the last service review.

“The last piece we’re trying to get is more evening service hours from Monday to Thursday,” Moore said.

For much more on this story, see the Dec. 6, 2017 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.


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