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DTA ridership continues upswing

Published: Expires: 6/2/2008

Duluth Transit Authority system-wide ridership increased by 6 percent in 2007 and for the first quarter of 2008, ridership continues an upward swing in both Duluth and Superior.

First quarter 2008 ridership figures reported to the DTA Board of Directors showed a 12.4% increase of 85,000 rides over the first quarter of 2007.

January 2008 ridership of 240,790 passengers was up 4.8% over January 2007. February 2008 ridership of 264,924 passengers was up 21% over February 2007. March 2008 ridership of 263,637 passengers was up 11.9% over March of 2007.

U-Pass ridership for the first quarter of 2008 at UMD, College of St. Scholastica, Lake Superior College and UWS has also increased 25% with 13,041 rides over the first quarter of 2007. UMD ridership for February totaled 55,506 and was the highest monthly total ever at UMD. March ridership at UMD totaled 42,116 – which was the highest March ridership ever at UMD. U-Pass ridership at UWS was inaugurated in August, 2006 and totaled 2,092 rides during March.

Total DTA ridership for 2007 was 2,692,931 and this upward trend in ridership is expected to continue due to high gas prices.

STRIDE (Special Transit RIDE) ridership has also increased by 10.7% during the first quarter of 2008.

The additional passenger revenue generated from increased ridership has been offset by the increase in the price of diesel fuel. The average March price of diesel fuel was $3.53, which is $1.15 more per gallon than March 2007. The DTA purchases an average of 40,000 gallons of bio-diesel fuel per month.

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