Rockford Mass Transit District sees uptick in riders - – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford Mass Transit District sees uptick in riders


A trip on the bus is routine for thousands of Rockford residents. 

"It's just a more efficient way of getting place to place," Rob Derymalski, a rider with Rockford Mass Transit District says.  

It's that efficiency that has other riders getting on board. The RMTD says last month it saw almost 127,000 riders use the bus. That's about 6,000 more people than April, which saw 120,000 riders.

RMTD says the jump on the bus may be tied to the jump at the pump. 

"Gas prices this year are quite a bit higher than they were last year around the same time," Lisa Brown with RMTD says.  

The average price per gallon in Rockford is nearly $3. That's compared to the $2.33 you probably paid at the pump last year. It's a hit to the budget some say makes the bus a more attractive option. 

"Riding the bus can help you save a lot more and do a lot more such as things like groceries, outings with the kids, things you want to do and can do on a daily basis," Selina Patton, a rider with RMTD says.  
But, gas prices aren't the only reason for the spike according to RMTD. It says the weather and employment also factor in. 

"If people are going to second shift jobs or just working at jobs in general and the employment picturing picking up, we always see an increase in ridership because of that," Brown says. 

Next week, RMTD is kicking off it's Ditch The Pump campaign. It encourages people to take the bus instead of their car and save a few dollars. 

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