As gas prices in the city of San Luis Obispo have increased, so has the number of people riding the bus.
SLO Transit reports it has topped its 2018-2019 fiscal year with a 4 percent increase in ridership, distinguishing the city from the nationwide trend of decreasing transit use.
According to San Luis Obispo Transit Manager Gamaliel Anguiano, SLO Transit’s 2018-2019 fiscal year saw nearly 982,000 riders, while the 2017-2018 fiscal year counted more than 945,000 riders.
“The City Council and the community expressed their desire for alternatives to single occupant vehicles, with bicycles and public transit being a big part of that,” Anguiano said in a press release. “We’re pleased to see this level of support come in the form of action from the public and hope to see this trend continue to grow.”
SLO Transit’s features – including free WiFi, smartphone bus passes on the Token Transit app and the SLO Transit bus tracking app – are being credited for contributing to the increase in ridership.
Historically, rising fuel costs have had a direct correlation with rising public transit use, officials say.
The transportation provider also said the number of students riding the bus has grown.
The local transit service keeps track of daily ridership through electronic fare boxes on each bus.