VALPARAISO | The popularity of the V-Line continues to grow with a new ridership record of 9,506 set in October.
Valparaiso Planning Director Tyler Kent said the total topped the high set in February by 48. Ridership on the individual routes were: Yellow, 3,526; Green, 3,409; Brown, 1,799;, Orange, 475; Red, 202, and there were 95 "rescue" pickups.
The high number of "rescues" was the result of Eastport Centre Drive being closed for a day or two, and the V-Line running a special bus from the other end to connect Ivy Tech students with Walmart, Kent said.
The ChicaGo Dash express commuter bus service to the Loop had 4,495 riders in October for an average daily ridership of 97.7 each way on the three morning and evening routes. That was a slight drop from the September record of just over 100 riders.
Kent said the November V-Line ridership was down because of the Thanksgiving holiday when the buses didn't run on the holiday. Total ridership was 8,558, and the individual routes were: Yellow, 3,128; Green, 3,234; Brown, 1,459; Orange, 531; Red, 226, and only 10 "rescues."
The holiday reduced daily ridership on the three main V-Line routes but ridership on the Orange Route shuttle to the South Shore's Dune Park station was up as students headed home for the Thanksgiving weekend.
Kent said the first two of the replacement buses have been ordered for the V-Line. Of the four buses the city had when the service started in October 2007, three remain in service and have reached their expected lifespan. Kent said he needs to order two more because of the high mileage.
He also hopes to order a large bus for the Dash by the end of the month so the city can get ready to begin a fourth route in the near future. It will take four to six months to get the new bus, and Kent said he hadn't decided whether to lease a bus from Free Enterprise, which runs the service for the city, until the new one arrives.