’S BUS SYSTEMS SET PASSENGER RECORDS DURING 2007-08
Placer County’s two bus systems attracted record numbers of passengers during the 2007-08 fiscal year.
Placer County Transit (PCT) passed the 300,000 mark for the first time, with 317,783 passengers on its fixed routes for the fiscal year ended June 30. That is a 15-percent increase over the previous year.
PCT provides fixed-route and dial-a-ride bus service to western Placer County, including Alta, Colfax, Auburn, Loomis, Rocklin, Roseville and surrounding unincorporated areas. Buses run Mondays through Saturdays.
PCT also operates Placer Commuter Express (PCE), a weekday bus service that takes commuters from western Placer to downtown Sacramento and back. It had 56,068 riders last fiscal year, 39 percent more than a year earlier. By June, PCE was averaging 310 passengers per day, which equates to 39 passengers per bus. It operates Mondays through Fridays.
Tahoe Area Regional Transit (TART) exceeded 400,000 passengers for the first time last fiscal year. It ended the year with a total of 433,628 riders, 19 percent more than the previous year.
TART provides fixed-route bus service in eastern Placer County, including the north shore of Lake Tahoe and Truckee. TART operates every day of the year except Christmas.
Part of last year’s increase in TART ridership was due to added winter service on Highway 267. When the added service is excluded, TART winds up with 396,237 riders for the fiscal year, up 9 percent from the previous year.
The bus services are managed by the Placer County Public Works Department.
“The recent surge in ridership is largely due to high gasoline prices,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Jim Holmes, “but Public Works deserves a lot of credit for providing reliable, convenient service that meets the public’s needs. The department has worked hard over the last few years to improve service, increase marketing and coordinate our services with those offered by cities and other transit agencies.”
“We’re getting lots of inquiries,” explained Will Garner, the county’s public works manager for transit services, saying many people are looking for alternative means of transportation because of high gas prices. “Whether or not they end up riding a bus, we certainly are talking to a lot more people.”
He pointed to new data that shows more and more people are looking for transit information on the county website. In June 2008, the county’s transit-related web pages were viewed 49,040 times. That is a 16 percent increase from May 2008, 83 percent more than in April 2008 and up almost 250 percent from December 2007.
For information about PCT, call 530-885-2877 or 916-784-6177, or go to the county website at www.placer.ca.gov/transit.
For TART, call 530-550-1212 or 800-736-6365 or go to www.placer.ca.gov/tart.