Whitehorse bus ridership up 18% since July

New routes credited for increase in passengers
Whitehorse Transit says ridership on buses has increased by 18 per cent since July, when new routes were first introduced. (CBC)

A summer overhaul of Whitehorse's city bus network is getting more people on board public transit.

Cheri Malo, the manager of Whitehorse Transit, said ridership has jumped more than 18 per cent since July 1, when new routes were added.

The numbers were encouraging, especially given the fact that the bump happened over the summer - a time when bus ridership usually takes a dip due to people leaving the city to go on vacation.

"Mostly July and August, we lose ridership because people are on holidays," Malo said. "There's no summer students, college is out, so 18 per cent is a wonderful thing."

5 new routes connect to downtown

The figures are based on revenues collected since the beginning of July, when Whitehorse Transit launched a new loop system. It now offers five routes that connect neighbourhoods to the downtown.

Riders like the better, quicker service, and are happy with convenient schedules and fewer transfers, she said.

"Our new riders [who] we had do the survey said that they are really happy with it, and plan on doing it as many times in a week as they can," she said. "And our riders we had before are enjoying more reliability for exactly the time it takes to get to each stop."

Riders are responding well to changes to the Copper Ridge route, Malo added. It offers rides to the downtown area - one heading down Hamilton Boulevard; the other along Robert Service Way.

Whereas only one bus served that area before, there are now three buses for Copper Ridge.