Delaware bus system is testing new hours
Friday nights, Saturdays added to routes for December
Sunday, November 29, 2009 3:36 AM
By Dana Wilson
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
DELAWARE, Ohio — The Delaware Area Transit Agency will test expanded bus hours on Friday nights and Saturdays starting this weekend.
The public-transit system for Delaware County typically offers rides by appointment between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. During the first three weeks of December, buses will run until 10 p.m. on Fridays and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays.
The change will give more access to riders who schedule individual pickups, but it won’t affect those who use the transit agency’s three fixed bus routes.
Officials want to permanently add night and weekend service in 2010, so they decided to conduct a pilot program to measure the need, said DATA Executive Director Denny Schooley. Riders will be asked to fill out a survey during their trips.
As a side note, the article also reported ridership numbers for COTA’s “Night Owl” Route 21 that runs from Clintonville to downtown on High Street.
The route operates until about 3 a.m. and has become popular with Ohio State University students, said Marty Stutz, spokesman for the Central Ohio Transit Authority. He said that the number of riders on the late-night route has increased since its debut in September.
An average of 427 riders took the route on Saturday nights during the first three weekends in November, compared with 384 in October and 232 in September.
According to COTA’s schedule for the #21, there are 14 trips in each direction on Saturday nights. If an average of 427 riders took the #21 each Saturday night, then that’s an average of 15.25 passengers per trip. Obviously, most passengers don’t ride end-to-end, but that doesn’t seem like all that bad a total for this late in the evening. Let’s hope it continues to grow.