June’s ridership report presented at the CARTA board meeting included an amazing figure which validates the work being done by volunteers across the East Cooper area to promote public transit. 1929 more riders a month boarded the #40 bus in May 2011 than a year earlier, an increase of 16.17%. This was a significant upturn in the route’s long history of ridership increases and was unique to routes of its type in the CARTA system. Similar suburban corridor routes such as the Folly Road Bus and Savannah Highway Bus did not post similar increases.
Organizers are confident that this increase has to be attributed to the community effort East of the Cooper. Special thanks are due to our CARTA board members who not only attend many meetings, but who have also been out in the community supporting the outreach effort and making sure that service quality issues and rider feedback get addressed.
An increase in ridership on the East Cooper Express Bus was also noted. The #401 East Cooper Connector & #402 Island Flex (To the Beach, IOP & Sullivan’s) have increase ridership, but still need more passengers to become viable routes.
Elsewhere on CARTA ridership on the free DASH system downtown has doubled since it went fare free. The workhorse #10 Rivers Ave. route also showed an increase. Both of these important routes connect to the #40.
The #40 Bus has been running for over 50 years, through a number of major route changes. These are the May ridership figures for the past four years and the increase. Transit ridership figures are usually compared month to the same month a year earlier to level out seasonal variations. Weather and the number of weekends in the month also produce variations.
Here are ridership figures for the #40 in May in the past four years.