The ridership numbers in public transit has been decreasing recently for a variety of reasons. Whether it is overcrowding or long waits, transit agencies can run into many problems that cause customers to look elsewhere for their transportation needs. However, there are some steps that agencies can take to better manage this decline.
By following these four tips, agencies can make public transit a bit easier and more appealing to riders.
When holding up buses for scheduling reasons, hold up the empty buses, not the full ones - This can prevent overcrowding, one of the major reasons riders decide to stop using public transit. Riders also will often not get on a bus that looks too full, and may give up on riding the bus altogether.
Small vehicles running more often may be better than large vehicles running less often - Again, this helps with the overcrowding problem. It also helps riders avoid long wait times between vehicles.
Pay particular attention to the wait times for transfers - If the wait time between vehicles at a transfer stop is frequently long, it may mean more vehicles are needed. Keeping track of this can help avoid unhappy riders.
When buses are delayed, let passengers know what’s happening - especially if the delay is not the transit agency’s fault. Once again, long waits are a big reason that riders choose not to take public transit.
While delays and other issues are sometimes inevitable and outside a transit agency’s control, there are always ways to help make riders feel more satisfied with their commute. Taking some of these simple steps to make public transit faster and easier is a great way to keep riders happy and ensure that they stay loyal to public transportation.
About the Author
Read Ecolane's blog articles for perspective, opinion and information on transit and paratransit issues.