Early signs of increased ridership seen around new bus stops
Just two weeks after the city rerouted bus lines and added new stops, Embark transit officials are already seeing the beginnings of an increase in ridership in those areas.
Last month, the transit authority redrew two of its bus routes and placed new bus stops near a number of nonprofits and agencies that work with homeless and low-income residents, including the Homeless Alliance, City Care and NorthCare.
The change went into effect Jan. 27. During the first week after the change, an average of 34.2 riders per weekday boarded buses at the stop next to the Homeless Alliance, according to Embark records. Before that stop went in, an average of 17.8 riders per weekday boarded a bus at the two nearest bus stops.
Michael Scroggins, a spokesman for Embark, said the transit authority is “seeing early signs” of an uptick in ridership in that area.
Dan Straughan, executive director of the Homeless Alliance, said the new bus stop makes many of the nonprofit’s clients’ lives easier. Before the change, the nearest bus stops were three blocks away.
“For a family with little kids that are coming here to get into housing on a blustery January day, three blocks can be a long way,” he said.
Robert Watkins, a Curbside Chronicle vendor, said that three-block walk generally took him about 15 minutes because of an ankle injury. Watkins takes the bus to the Homeless Alliance nearly every day, he said. Having easier access to the campus makes a big difference.
“It’s a blessing, for real,” he said. “It’s been needed for a long time.”