Taking the bus is becoming more popular among UC Riverside faculty, staff, and students.
That’s according to the most recent ridership report provided by the Riverside Transit Agency, or RTA. The numbers show that 43% of faculty, staff and students rode the bus at least once in the past two years. UCR’s Transportation and Parking Services Department partnered with RTA 13 years ago to offer unlimited rides to the campus community, seven days a week.
Ridership records for fall 2018 indicate 192,108 people took the bus, up from 159,788 in fall 2017 – an increase of more than 20%.
“We’re excited to see the results,” said Irma Henderson, director of Transportation Services. “Taking the bus means we’re helping the environment and helping diminish traffic congestion around campus.”
TAPS subsidizes 100% of RTA bus passes. Riders only need to swipe their R’Card; passenger boarding is calculated each time a person swipes their identification card, said Tara Pueschel, UCR transportation demand management specialist.
Henderson expects ridership numbers to increase after the construction of the Mobility Hub, a central bus hub, finishes in early 2020. The Mobility Hub is a planned joint effort with RTA that will extend University Avenue further into campus.
Reducing single-occupant vehicles is a top priority for TAPS, Henderson said.
This academic year TAPS accommodated three additional rideshares, taking the tally to 28 vanpools totals with students and employees coming from as far east as Coachella, and as far west as Pasadena. Rideshares have a minimum of five or more people.
“The way we look at it is: we have one van coming in, versus five cars,” Henderson said.