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Local Use of Public Busing Continues to Skyrocket

October brought the highest amount of rider boarding than any other month in RTA's 35-year history, with continued increases seen among southwest Riverside County routes.

More and more local residents are choosing to use busing as their mode of transportation, as evidenced by a recent report from Riverside Transit Agency.

October brought the highest amount of ridership in RTA's 35-year history, said a spokesperson for the organization that provides public transportation to western Riverside County.

Boardings were up by 18 percent from the same month last year, according to RTA Spokesperson Bradley Weaver.

In addition, ridership was up roughly 19 percent on CommuterLink express routes and 15 percent on Dial-A-Ride service, Weaver said.

"With 11 of the last 12 months smashing ridership records, RTA buses continue to reach unprecedented levels of boardings. At this pace, the Agency is on track to break last calendar year’s record of 8.4 million boardings," Weaver said.

Factors contributing to the record-breaking ridership may include volatile gas prices, route and schedule improvements, and the popularity of student-ride programs, according to a news release.

The Go-Pass and U-Pass student-ride programs now encompass a statewide record six partner schools: Cal Baptist University, La Sierra University, Moreno Valley College, Mt. San Jacinto College, Riverside City College and UC Riverside.

More than 1.3 million student boardings have occurred so far this fiscal year, which also sets an all-time record, Weaver said. Ridership among middle and high school students is also up following RTA's outreach efforts this past summer, he said.

RTA also recently launched a travel training program that gave disabled and senior customers the freedom to ride without barriers.

“This explosive growth shows that more commuters are eager to save money, time and sanity by riding our buses,” said RTA Chairman of the Board Doug McAllister, who until December also serves as the mayor of Murrieta.

“More people are discovering that riding RTA is a quality experience. Once a customer rides for the first time, we expect them to return," McAllister said.

Listed below are October stats for RTA routes that service southwest Riverside County:

Route 7: Lake Elsinore/Wildomar: 13,194 October boardings, up 13 percent from October 2011

Route 8: Lake Elsinore: 14,663 boardings, up 24 percent

Route 22: Riverside/Perris/Lake Elsinore: 47,110, up 16 percent

Route 23: Temecula/Murrieta/Wildomar: 8,575 boardings, up 6 percent

Route 24:  Temecula: 7,874 boardings, up 15 percent

Route 40: Lake Elsinore/Quail Valley/Sun City: 2,562 boardings, down 1 percent

Route 55 (Temecula Trolley): 4,245 boardings, up 30 percent

Route 61: Sun City/ Menifee/ Murrieta/ Temecula: 7,206 boardings, 14 percent

Route 79:Hemet/Winchester/French Valley/Temecula: 9,537 boardings, up 25 percent

Route 202: Murrieta/Temecula/Oceanside: 2,005 boardings, up 21 percent

Route 206: Corona/Lake Elsinore/Murrieta/Temecula: 6,554 boardings, up 9 percent

Route 208: Temecula/Murrieta/Sun City/Perris/ Moreno Valley/ Riverside: 5,393 boardings, up 23 percent

Route 217: San Jacinto/Hemet/Temecula/Escondido: 3,534 boardings, up 49 percent

Lash LaRue November 23, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Great more Section 8 people moving into area.
Winston November 23, 2012 at 04:20 PM
The Trolley bus looks great as it runs about town! Need more of these, as they don't "look" like public transportation among the well-to-do.
Sierra Mist November 24, 2012 at 03:29 AM
The bus system is not only great for people who are not driving, but for students who want to be more independent. It gives the parents a break from having to take the kids everywhere. Hopefully it does not get too expensive where the average person will not be able to afford it like with the gas prices.
Sierra Mist November 24, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Good sence of humor winston. Love the classy name you picked for yourself to go along with ur imaginary well-to-do lifestyle. U 2 Lash LaRue.
tbone November 24, 2012 at 05:53 AM
I agree more section eight ppl .
Galactic Cannibal November 24, 2012 at 07:56 AM
What are Section 8 people. Are they Americans. ??
ndahauz November 24, 2012 at 08:35 AM
people ride the bus for a number of reasons....gas....broken car....more economical....or they are physically unable to operate a car. At any case, it is wonderful to have that alternative when needed. Going to Orange county from here is such a breeze and stress free. No traffic. It's great.
Lash LaRue November 24, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Low Life scumbags who live off the Govt teat, their kids are the ones who tags walls and gang bang.
Sierra Mist November 24, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Lash LaRue Just in case you did not realize, there is low life scum in every income bracket and people who ride the bus are also in all different income brackets. In otherwords it does not work to stereotype people since everyone is different and no two people are the same.There is good and bad in every income bracket and all walks of life.
Ethan Edwards November 24, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Lash LaRue is a low life, troll.
Adrian November 25, 2012 at 01:45 AM
I love the bus system. I know it will make tbone and Lash squirm to know that I ride the bus (when possible) to my well paying job. I rather enjoy my fellow riders, regardless of their socioeconomic stations.
Amy November 25, 2012 at 04:25 AM
I'm so thankful for the bus system here,even though it is a small town. I have never wanted to drive and really hate it. I just now got my driver's licence for the first time only because my husband wanted me to. He also got me a nice car which I barely drive. I instead walk about a quarter of a mile from our house to the bus stop to catch the bus which is well worth it and I like the walk.Thank you R.T.A. for having a bus system for people like me who hate to drive. I don't care how much it costs I will always ride when hubby is away.
Amy November 25, 2012 at 04:27 AM
I'm so thankful for the bus system here,even though it is a small town. I have never wanted to drive and really hate it. I just now got my driver's licence for the first time only because my husband wanted me to. He also got me a nice car which I barely drive. I instead walk about a quarter of a mile from our house to the bus stop to catch the bus which is well worth it and I like the walk.Thank you R.T.A. for having a bus system for people like me who hate to drive. I don't care how much it costs I will always ride when hubby is away.
Amy November 25, 2012 at 04:28 AM
I'm so thankful for the bus system here,even though it is a small town. I have never wanted to drive and really hate it. I just now got my driver's licence for the first time only because my husband wanted me to. He also got me a nice car which I barely drive. I instead walk about a quarter of a mile from our house to the bus stop to catch the bus which is well worth it and I like the walk.Thank you R.T.A. for having a bus system for people like me who hate to drive. I don't care how much it costs I will always ride when hubby is away.

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