SARTA hits new record in ridership

The Alliance Review

Published:February 10, 2012 3:00AM

In 2011, SARTA transferred over 2.4 million riders on fixed route and Proline service -- an increase of over 300,000 rides from 2010. These new levels mirror some of the same ridership levels in 2008, when service reached all-time highs. The trend has continued into 2012 with daily record high ridership levels, including over 11,000 rides delivered on Feb. 1, and over 10,000 rides on Feb. 2 and 3.

In addition to increased ridership levels, SARTA has increased efficiency. The number of passengers transferred per hour in 2011 increased 25 percent. SARTA was able to accomplish this goal while traveling fewer miles in an hour.

SARTA is doing more with less. In 2008, SARTA was forced to make route cutbacks to deal with pending financial constraints. By taking a look at which routes were most active and rerouting other routes for efficiency, SARTA has created a fixed route system that is more responsive and used by Stark County residents. This ridership increase is even more dramatic considering service was cut by nearly 20 percent and Sunday service was eliminated.

Kirt Conrad, executive director of SARTA, said, "It is hard to pinpoint only one reason for increased usage, but the combination of gas prices, increased employment, and the hard work of our employees to meet the transportation needs of our community have played a strong part in this record increase. I encourage others to join the over 2.4 million riders who are taking advantage of our services."

For more information about SARTA and their services, visit www.sartaonline.com or call 330-47-SARTA.