Saturday, January 18, 2014

Why is There Limited Commuter Service on "Minor" Holidays?

By Martin Munguia

For transit agencies, figuring out how much service to put on the road on holidays is a guessing game. You might provide more service than necessary and have empty buses. Or, you might constrict service to the point that it inconveniences some riders.

Community Transit offers service on four “minor” holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Friday. These are days when businesses and schools are closed or people take the day off and transit demand is lower than a typical weekday, but there are still a significant number of people riding the bus. A couple other days that sometimes warrant this minor holiday schedule are Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

After years of studying transit use patterns on these days, our planners have come up with a consistent schedule for these days: regular local service (including Boeing routes), and reduced commuter service to Seattle and the UW (Routes 402, 413, 421 and 855).

This way, even if people aren’t working those days, they can still travel by bus to do shopping, run errands or visit family. If people want to go to Seattle, there are some Community Transit options available, but there is also Sound Transit service.

On these days, ridership to Seattle is as low as 20 percent of a regular weekday, so the reduced commuter service makes good business sense. Local ridership is typically lower than usual, but not as drastic.

In the coming year, we will be evaluating whether to bring back service on major holidays, as well as Sundays. But we want to be cost-effective whatever decision we make. So on days we know ridership is going to be low, we may continue to offer reduced service to still serve our riders, but in a fiscally responsible way.

1 comment:

  1. Data and numbers show that it is ineffective to provide maximum busses service on holidays, therefore reducing teh number of busses can be very economical.