Ridership dips for free New Year’s transit

Not as many people as last year took advantage of free buses on New Year's Eve.

The free New Years bus service in Kitimat didn’t see quite as many people as last year.

In fact ridership was at a low not seen since 1982.

In all 381 people rode the bus during the free service which began at 7 p.m. on December 31.

That is the lowest since 1982 when 340 took to transit. That was the service’s second year.

When the service first began in 1981, 224 people hopped on board.

In the first hour for 2012’s service, 22 people took a bus, which rose to 30 people between 8 and 9 p.m.

75 people were on the bus between 9 and 10 p.m., dropping to 21 riders at 10 p.m.

From 11 to midnight there were 13 riders, which climbed to 38 for the hour up to 1 a.m., when the most people took the bus for the evening, with 163 crowding into Kitimat’s buses

between 1 and 2 a.m.

From there it dwindled. There were 17 riders from 2 to 3 a.m., and only two between 3 and 4 a.m.

The final hour, from 4 to 5 a.m. must have been lonely for the drivers because not a single rider was recorded.

Ridership steadily increased from it’s beginning in 1981 to 1986, before ridership figures began to teeter-totter up and down.

For instance in 1988 riders were at 1,015 for the night, but then dropped to 489 the next year. But then in 1990 it was back over 1,000 again.

2011 was a relatively slow year for free transit as well, at 655 riders for the night. Except for once more in 2009, ridership had dipped below 700 since 1992.

The busiest year on record was 2006, when 1,239 riders took advantage of the service.

Out of its 31 years running, ridership had surpassed 1,000 10 times in total.