Kingston Transit has something special happening to it. Ridership has gone up by 7.5 per cent in 2007. Youth riders showed the greatest increase of 25 percent and adult riders at 8 per cent, more in 2007. This is truly impressive. Durham Region Transit could use a shot in the arm like this.
Paula Nichols, the city's manager of transit, attributed the rise in ridership to increased awareness of Kingston Transit as well as several service improvements, including putting more buses on the road. "Our key concern is having a service that is convenient and reliable," Nichols said. "If we don't have a convenient service, it's pretty tough to get people out of their cars."
Preston Schiller, a public transportation expert who lectures at Queen's University's School of Urban and Regional Planning, said "there are several ways of increasing ridership and one that I happen to think is very important is to think of what are your key core routes and consider if those routes can be made a little more frequent or a little more straightened out," he said.
Schiller, an adjunct professor at Queen's, said he doubts the rising cost of gasoline has much impact on whether people choose public transit.
"That may become a big factor in the future, but the marginal cost of driving is still pretty cheap," he said. "We are going to have to have a much higher gasoline price before people start to leave the car at home and take the bus."
The staff at Kingston Transit contribute their success to the following.