Huge Increase As School Year Begins; Record Daily Number on Tuesday
RAPID CITY--Anyone wondering if the City's youth would continue utilizing free public transportation when the new school year started need only look at September's usage numbers for the answer.
Youth transportation last month on the City's RapidRide system reflected a 46.9 percent increase over September 2016.
And October is off to a record start with Tuesday's youth ridership numbers hitting a record high.
There were 11,695 youth passenger trips in September compared to 7,961 trips in September 2016, the first month the youths ride free program was implemented. Overall Rapid Transit System ridership in September increased 14 percent over September 2016. A youth passenger trip is defined as a boarding with some students utilizing the service once in a day or multiple times.
"The numbers are impressive. The school year is off to a great start as far as youth using public transportation is concerned," said Rich Sagen, Rapid Transit System Director. "The first year was a great success and free transit services for this school year was heavily promoted by both the City and School District. Free youth transportation has many great benefits for the student, families and the community."
The first two days of October produced heavy youth ridership as well, with 616 youth passenger trips on Monday and a record 696 youth trips on Tuesday. As of Tuesday, since the beginning of this school year, there had been seven school days with more than 600 youth passenger trips recorded.
Free youth transportation was initiated by the City with the 2016-17 school year and numbers escalated through the year. By the end of May, more than 88,000 youth passenger trips were recorded on RapidRide by the Rapid Transit System.
Darrell W. Shoemaker | Communications Coordinator
T: 605.721.6686 | M: 605.939.8551