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Passenger Counting 101

PSTA explains how they count bus passengers.

You might have noticed our recent article about our highest ever single day of ridership. With over 50,000 rides in one day, February 1st was a record breaking day for PSTA, and January 2013 saw  86,090 more boardings than January 2012, making for 15 months in a row of record ridership. But how do we count those passengers you ask?

Here, let me explain: Every time a passenger boards a bus and either puts money in the farebox, or swipes a GO Card, they're counted. That's it!

This method of counting rides is an industry standard, and is part of our federally mandated reporting to the National Transit Database. Sure, there will be occasions where someone boards the wrong bus, swipes their GO Card, then realizes they're on the wrong bus and they exit. But that number is very small in the grand total of boardings in our system.

It's also worth noting that we have not made any significant changes to our bus service since ridership started its huge upward climb. In fact, the combination of the Route 35 into the Central Avenue Trolley reduced the number of buses one would need to take to make that trip across Central. (Before, when you rode the 35 you were counted once, and when you boarded the CAT you were counted again, making for 2 boardings on that one trip. Now that the same trip doesn't require a bus change you're counted once.)

So, it's a very straightforward calculation, you're boarding in record numbers, and we appreciate every single one of you!

Stay tuned for an upcoming article in which we explain how much of our operating costs are covered by bus fares, and how we stack up in that regard as compared to other transit systems...

~Cyndi Raskin-Schmitt, RidePSTA Blog Editor

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jack Wilson February 18, 2013 at 01:53 AM
We rode on your transit system today, and were impressed with your equipment, and especially your drivers who were professional and friendly. We will use your system again.
RidePSTA February 19, 2013 at 01:12 PM
Thanks Jack! It's always nice to hear positive feedback. We'll share your comment with our Transportation division.

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