Ridership on public transit doubles in five years

Ridership on Whitehorse's public transit system has doubled in the past five years, according to a recent report.

Ridership on Whitehorse’s public transit system has doubled in the past five years, according to a recent report.

Transit Consulting Network reviewed the City’s transit services over a five-year period, from 2010 to 2014.

They found that ridership in Whitehorse grew 72 per cent during that time (to 546,496 in 2014 from 318,456 in 2010). That’s compared to a 10 per cent drop in ridership in communities of a similar size elsewhere in Canada.

It’s estimated that transit ridership will grow another 15 per cent from 2014 levels to approximately 630,000 this year.

At Monday’s meeting, city transit manager Cheri Malo said the increase was due to several factors, including the revamp and expansion of the transit system’s routes and schedules.

The report found that transit service hours increased by 86 per cent from 2010 to 2014.

The addition of group transit passes, handing out transit passes to high school students and introducing evening service also contributed, she added.

But the increase in ridership comes at a cost. It cost taxpayers more than $2.4 million to keep the system going in 2014, a net cost per capita of $85.85 per year. That’s significantly higher than in 2010 when it only cost taxpayers $51.62.

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