In a previous blog post I commented on the spring publication of Focus on Niles for 2011, with reference to a Free Bus ridership count for the months of April, May and June of that year, i.e., over 146,000 riders. I questioned the accuracy of that count. The Focus On Niles for 2012, reported that a ridership count was conducted for the period of April 1 through June 30th, 2012, i.e., 78,477 riders.
78,477 divided by 3 months equils 26,159 riders per month; 26,159 divided by 30 days equils 872 riders per day; 872 divided by 9.5 hours of daily service equils 92 riders per hour; 92 divided by 4 routes equals 23 riders per hour. Based on the Village's report the average ridership per route every hour between 8:45 AM and 6:00 PM, is 23 passengers. I have seldom seen more than five riders on these buses and on many occasions no riders.
This service is costing Niles taxpayers over $600,000, per year along with Pace's contribution. I believe it's time to do a legitimate ridership analysis.