In January, we asked people to share their stories with us about the bus. The response was overwhelming. There were almost 100 submissions! The responses were from all kinds of people, from students to commuters to seniors. Read on to see what people are saying…
Bus service saves money and provides people with choices, freedom and opportunity. Every day in the Bridgeport region, more than 20,000 trips are made by bus. Since 2012, annual bus ridership has grown by more than 650,000.
In the U.S., transit ridership has increased by 37% since 1995, faster than highway usage (23%) and population (20%). Nationally, more than 51% of transit riders hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and 21% of households earning $100,000 per year, ride public transportation.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
The reach of the bus service extends throughout the region. It helps revitalize business districts, allows employers to tap into larger workforces, builds economic revenues and increases property values. More than 75% of riders are using the bus service to get to work at employment locations throughout the region – without it, many have no alternative way to get there – a disaster for workers and employers.
Bus service is an important part of many train commutes and is essential where parking is limited. Approximately 30% of the riders boarding the train at Bridgeport station get there by bus.
Using the bus reduces congestion and the demand for parking on campus and allows students to work and reach community services. In the Bridgeport region, Students at the University of Bridgeport and Housatonic Community College collectively use the bus around 45,000 times every month.
Transportation provides a vital lifeline for people with disabilities and allows access to employment, healthcare, education and overall community life. As a matter of civil rights, wherever there is city bus service, there are also special transportation services for riders who, because of their disability, cannot access the city buses. If the service area shrinks, so too will options for seniors and riders with disabilities.
Public transportation supports larger goals and policies benefiting everyone, not just the riders. Using the bus reduces congestion and emissions. It reduces dependence on foreign oil, and has been an important part of providing critical response in emergencies like Super Storm Sandy. Buses also play a vital role in supporting the local economy and community.