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Ridership up 5% one month into Metro Transit redesign, mayor says

7 Aug 2023 8:06 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

Metro Transit Bus

More than one month into Madison's first full-scale Metro Transit service redesign in more than 25 years, ridership is already up by 5% compared to last summer, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said.

In a blog post, the mayor said Metro has gotten feedback from riders praising the more direct routes they say make planning trips easier and shorten travel times. The new routes rolled out in June with the goal of reducing wait times by creating more direct main pathways.

Despite that, some riders have voiced concerns to News 3 Now about changes that have made it harder to get to destinations like UW Hospital.

Rhodes-Conway acknowledged, though, that there was "room for improvement."

"Because Metro is only able to make service changes four times a year (June, August, December and March, when drivers officially pick their shifts) they’ve been monitoring how things are going, listening carefully to feedback from the public, looking for issues, and preparing adjustments so that they are reflected in time for drivers’ August shift pick," she wrote.

A round of small changes will take effect Aug. 20, including extra routes to the hospital and more buses on the popular Route 80 on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Those changes also aim to address reports of buses running late and a lack of accessibility at some stops.

After August 20, changes can be expected a few times next year before the launch of the city's Bus Rapid Transit system next fall.

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