Thursday, August 7, 2014

LeeTran ridership numbers continue to slide

Since the budget cuts in November which reduced evening and weekend LeeTran services, BikeWalkLee has been tracking the monthly ridership numbers and has continued to express our concerns about the impact of these cuts. July numbers are now in and the trend continues.

At the Aug. 7th MPO committee meetings, LeeTran reported that in July, ridership was down 4.72% (compared to the same month the previous year).  The following are the monthly numbers (compared to the same month the previous year):

October 2013:  +2.49% (before cuts)

Nov. 2013:        -3.55%

Dec. 2013:         +1.95%

Jan. 2014:           -8.36%

Feb. 2014:          -2.19%

March 2014:      -4.55%

April 2014:        -0.09%

May 2014:         -7.50%

June 2014:        -1.65%

July 2014:         -4.72%

The consistent ridership reductions are evidence of the negative impact these cuts are having on the transit system overall and on individual lives of our citizens who rely on transit to get to work and lead independent and productive lives. Since the cutbacks went into effect in mid-November, ridership numbers have fallen for the first time in years, after several years of record-breaking increases in ridership.

BikeWalkLee has consistently opposed cuts in LeeTran services and has called on commissioners to restore these cuts in next year's budget (see links below).  The County's draft budget includes an option for restoring the FY 13-14 cuts to transit, adding $358K to the "continuation" budget. BikeWalkLee supports the adoption of the county's draft budget transit proposal. To date, the Board has been receptive to restoring last year's transit cuts but no vote has been taken so this is still an outstanding issue for the Board to decide.  

On Aug. 12th, the County Commissioners will hold a budget meeting exclusively to hear public input on the proposed budget.  It is important that the commissioners hear from the public on this issue before making their decision.  Click here for BikeWalkLee's Action Alert about the Aug. 12th meeting for details about how to participate.

Previous BikeWalkLee communications on transit:

See  BikeWalkLee's July 26th blog post, BikeWalkLee's May 25th blog post, BikeWalkLee's April 18th blog postBikeWalkLee's April 10th blog post, and BikeWalkLee's April 8th letter to BoCC members, requesting the Board to restore the LeeTran service cuts in the County's "continuation budget" for FY 2014-15.

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