More riding Peninsula transit buses as gas prices rise

PORT ANGELES — Clallam Transit ridership is at a record high, and the agency is working to handle increased demand for both bus and vanpool service, said Terry Weed, Clallam Transit manager.

Buses alone carried more than 88,000 passengers in June — up 8 percent over the same month last year, and the most passengers Clallam Transit has ever had in a month.

At this rate, Weed expects to find by the end of the year that more than 1 million passengers had ridden Clallam Transit buses during 2008.

That would be an increase of about 12 percent over 2007.

“A year ago, having 3,000 passenger trips a day was a good thing,” Weed said.

“Now we are exceeding 4,000 on a fairly regular basis.”

Jefferson Transit is also experiencing historic highs in ridership, said Dave Turissini, the agency’s general manager.

During the first six months of 2008, Jefferson Transit ridership has climbed nearly 14 percent over the same period last year, with 163,119 riders compared to 143,269 riders in 2007’s first half.

That compares to 136,061 riders the same period in 2006.

To figure out how to address increased demand, Clallam Transit has hired the consulting firm Perteet from Everett for $75,000 to collect data and make recommendations to the Transit board.

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