More Bus Service Translates to More Bus Riders

A new study finds that bus service determines bus ridership.

1 minute read

June 9, 2018, 9:00 AM PDT

By Casey Brazeal @northandclark


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Keith Levit / Shutterstock

It's easy to blame gas prices or Uber for declining bus ridership, but the biggest determinant of ridership is service, according to a study from McGill University. Fares and other issues also had an impact, "…but the strongest determinant of ridership’s rise and fall may not be the lure of another mode—it’s service cuts on bus and train systems. According to a new study by researchers at McGill University’s department of urban planning, transit agencies are repelling riders by shrinking routes and schedules on buses in particular," Laura Biss writes for CityLab.

The metric used to measure the amount of service is VRK or the number of kilometers traveled by transit vehicles. "Transit service drove ridership more than any other factor: A 10 percent increase in VRK was associated with a roughly 8 percent increase in ridership, with all other variables constant, they found," Biss reports.

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