Numbers starting to take off on MetroX route to Halifax airport
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Ridership on the MetroX airport/Fall River service took a jump in its second year of service.
Route 320, which launched in May 2012, was designed as an alternative to cabs or limos for airport passengers and as a commuter service for Fall River residents.
The service got off to low numbers, but Metro Transit’s manager of scheduling and planning said Tuesday daily passenger boardings have risen nearly 54 per cent from 387 in the first year of service to 595 in the second.
“It's something you would expect to see as a service matures,” said Dave Reage. “Typically, first year in service, you're going to have low ridership while people adjust their travel patterns.”
Coun. Barry Dalrymple said the service has been a welcome addition to the Fall River area, where commuters are often frustrated by the traffic delays at “choke points” in and out of the community.
“You can drive to the Park and Ride in Fall River, any day of the week and the parking lot is completely jammed full,” he said. “Parking on the service road going in is jammed full.”
Reage said the service is performing on par with similar routes, such as the Tantallon MetroX.
He said ridership is counted for the entire route, and didn’t have immediate access to a breakdown of numbers for the Fall River-downtown Halifax leg compared to the airport portion.
But Halifax International Airport Authority vice-president of corporate communications Peter Spurway said the service seems to be gaining momentum.
“Anecdotally, I notice more people on that bus than I did a year ago,” he said, adding he’s used the service to travel from the airport to downtown. “We put a little push on last year…with the 5,400 people here to raise their level of awareness and encouraging them to give it a try.”