Bus rides hit record numbers

Transportation system growing in popularity among passengers.
Andy Ouriel
Jan 26, 2014

 

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.

Comments

KURTje

Interesting. Hope they can stand alone without tax $$ soon.

drdhead

I can't believe Andy "Oreo" wrote an entire article without the phrase: "Through a Public records request" to prove the power of the press.

donutshopguy

kURTje,

This transportation method will never be able to stand alone without tax dollars. The last information I had showed a cost to the taxpayer of at least $7 dollars of entitlement cost for each rider. When the federal or state governments cut grants to these services this will be the end of this program. It's just a matter of time. Kinda like the firefighter grant that ended for the city of Sandusky.

This program is not self sustainable without government support.

sandusky2012

How many of these riders were employees from cedar point it would be great to know the breakdown pr month as to the fact the transit has a bus stop outside cedar point dorms and mostly the foreigners take advantage of this especially when they work at Kalahari.....and if you do the math 166 riders is per ride not round trip divide by half and if they were traveling as a group. i know of at least 10 people from Europe who were here this past summer they rode the bus everyday to Kalahari that's 20 rides per day (round trip ) 6 days a week for all summer..there is almost 2000 rides there and that is just to work ....so register can you break these rides down per month? to see whom is benefiting?

YouMustBeJoking

I beg to differ with you guys on this one. The Sandusky Transit and SPARC are contributing HUGE numbers into the local economy. For many this is the only way they have to get to work, and school. Not to mention all the people that use this service to get to and from doctors appointments. This is also the ONLY way many residents are able to get to a grocery store. So unless you have a loved one that depends on the STS to survive or knows someone that works there, you will never realize or appreciate just what STS means to our community. this service is here to stay, grants for this will NEVER be cut. I guarantee it. Dont forget when you get up one morning and your car wont start, you will always be able to jump on the bus. If this program is not self sustainable without government support, thats ok because they will ALWAYS have the governments support on this.

BabyMomma

I'll just drive my other car. Or my other other car.

donutshopguy

YouMust,

Please explain how you guarantee that grants for this will never be cut. Are you a member of the Senate appropriations committee ?

Local, state and federal governments are cutting back numerous entitlement projects. Every year more money is being taken away from the trough of entitlement.

The free ride, as you know it , is coming to an end.

santown419

This is stupid the same people complain about people working having to pay taxes and know they complain about the SPARC which a lot use to go to work or to Firelands college to get a education. What's so crazy if these same people who complain about everything had it so good they wouldn't be posting on here. Get over it so some people have to use government to help them survive day to day so the he!! what. Its not the first and when you die it will still be people who will need some assistance. Everybody doesn't have it like that.

deertracker

Agreed!

YouMustBeJoking

donut, you are absolutely correct local, state and federal governments are cutting back numerous entitlement projects, however public transportation in Sandusky will stay. The people that dont need or use the service are also the ones that dont understand how vital STS is to the city and the county as well. In the years to come there might be a revamping of sorts for the SPARC routes, just for efficiency more than anything else. But funding for public transportation in our area will be the last to go.

KURTje

Feel that seniors should contribute some.....

donutshopguy

sandtown419,

Public entitlement started about 50 years ago. It was started with the best altruistic thoughts of helping some people who needed a little help.

Well, 50 years have passed and the entitlement experiment has been a complete disaster. Instead of increasing personal responsibility and giving people a step up the programs have enslaved millions of more Americans. Generations receiving free transportation, housing, energy and food have left 25% of Americans with a lack of self respect and a dependency.

Expecting the government to solve your lack of willpower, education and motivation has created a new group of slaves. Slaves to their government.

santown419

Donut you get on here with entitlement this and entitlement that if you don't need help good many people don't have it as good as you just like you don't have it as good as others. You even tried that entitlement garbage on me and my wife when I was working two jobs and her a respitary therapist. If you don't need it that's you. Others don't drive in the past when my car stopped working I used the sts does that make me a bad guy no.

donutshopguy

kURTje,

You bet. No free rides.

donutshopguy

YouMust,

So do you believe the government will cut free or reduced food or housing before transportation?

My guess is that transportation will take a back seat to other entitlement.

huronparent

1.7MM budget divided by 190,000 rides equals around $9 for each ride or $18 for each round trip. Everytime your azz gets on the bus you cost the taxpayers $18. You pay $2. This is just another WELFARE ENTITLEMENT. It is amazing how motivated people get when they are hungry. We are making it too easy to be lazy in this country.

The Bizness

Yep, helping someone less fortunate get to work, is making people lazy.

Could we raise the fees? Sure, but public transit is vital.

No Wake

Huron, your logic is flawed.

Every time (two words) someone uses the bus, the cost to the taxpayer goes DOWN. Since the routes are more or less a fixed cost and will run whether they are empty or full, the more people paying to ride, the better.

DGMutley

Bingo!

donutshopguy

sandtown419,

So you used STS when you had a mechanical problem with your vehicle ? Could you have used the service if it cost you $10 dollars per ride?

I'm not against public transportation. It just need to be self sufficient.

YouMustBeJoking

First off It cost $3.00 to ride the transit, SPARC which does a constant hourly loop is $1.00. Providing Erie county residents transportation is at the top of the priority list, profiting off of them is NOT

huronparent

youmustbejoking! You really put me in my place... Where can I get a copy of this PRIORITY LIST you are referring to? The $3 does not come close to covering the cost of your door to door transit. Your $6 round trip probably cost taxpayers $20 or more. Do you even have a clue what the definition of PROFIT is? The services would have to pay for themselves manytimes over before they would become profitable considering the money we have already dumped into this welfare transit system. Get a bike or walk. If you can't, phone a friend. Why do I need to pay for your trasportation to the store when I am already paying for your purchases?

Simple Enough II

Zing!

YouMustBeJoking

huron, you dont pay for anything for me just so you know. I am a business owner in Sandusky, Bellevue, Port Clinton and Tiffin. I pay taxes and live in Sandusky. I think Sandusky public transportation is one of the greatest services provided in Erie county. You can down and degrade it all you want, but you will pay for it whether you like it or not. So you should really start to appreciate it. Why you ask? Because theres nothing you can do about it. Unless you move to Canada of course. Have a great day, and thank you for your contribution to the Sandusky Transit System

donutshopguy

huronparent,

I don't even need the SPARC to show a profit. Just be self sufficient.

DEATHnTAXES

And how about those 3/4 empty, 1 mile per gallon, full sized busses STS got from Toledo.

DGMutley

Donut,

If folks spent as much time promoting SPARC as they have trying to tear it down maybe the ridership would go up to an even higher level and the costs per ride would start to come down.

There isn't any public transit system in the country that pays for it self per se. It pays for itself when we consider the positive economic impact it has.