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Bus rides hit record numbers

Andy Ouriel • Jan 26, 2014 at 11:40 AM

The number of rides provided on Sandusky Transit vehicles in 2013 surpassed Akron’s total population.

And for you locals, that’s almost eight rides for every one Sandusky resident.

Sandusky Transit vehicles logged about 190,000 rides in 2013, according to city data.

The record-setting figure represents a 14 percent increase compared to 2012, when the public busing system provided 166,000 rides.

“We continue to grow year after year as people get more familiar with our system,” Sandusky Transit administrator Thomas Schwan said. “We are getting people to work and for not much money. People just want a different option other than filling their cars with gas at $3 per gallon or spending lots of money on cars”    Sandusky Transit receives funding through both local taxpayers and the state’s transportation department.

Rider fares and contracts with local agencies, such as the Erie County Board of Developmental Disabilities and Serving Our Seniors, also contribute to the $1.7 million yearly operation.

Sandusky Transit is largely broken down into two main components:

• Demand Response:

Operating similar to a taxi service, people call for a Demand Response vehicle to pick them up. A driver then scoops the rider at a certain location and drops them off at a specific spot for $3, no matter the distance traveled. The service provides rides to anywhere in Erie County and treks as far east as the Ohio 58 line in Lorain.

• Sandusky-Perkins Area Ride Connection:

Commonly referred to as SPARC, three separate routes snake through Sandusky and Perkins Township. Vehicles pick up and drop off passengers each hour at specific times at more than 40 popular locations. Stops extend from downtown Sandusky to as far as Kalahari Resort.

Fares are $1 for most people and free for others, such as seniors and riders with disabilities.

All rates in place during 2013 will remain the same this year.

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