City's bus service continues rapid growth

The Kingman Area Regional Transit continued its rapid growth rate in the first quarter of the 2003-04 fiscal year with a ridership gain of 45 percent over the previous quarter.

During July, August and September 8,090 people rode the KART buses on the two routes.

Beth O'Connor, public transit coordinator, told the Kingman City Council at the Oct.

20 meeting that $7,693 in fares and $4,824 in advertising revenue was collected in the quarter.

The federal grants require that fares pay at least 17 percent of the $350,000 annual budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.

The $7,693 collected in fares exceeded the $6,163 required.

The number of riders has grown from 117 per day in July to 124 in August and 148 in September.

Curb-to-curb service for eligible elderly or disabled people has remained at about nine percent of the total riders.

The actual number of people using curb-to-curb service has grown significantly.

The number increased by 60 percent quarter to quarter from 420 to 673 rides.

The city is responsible for 50 percent of the operational costs and must raise another 17 percent from fares collected.

The city's cost of the current $350,000 budget total is 30 percent or about $100,000.

O'Connor expects to receive a state transportation grant of $29,000 shortly that would be applied to the city share for matching.

Federal transportation grants paid 93 percent of the cost of the three buses purchased to start KART.

O'Connor was out Tuesday driving two additional routes that could become part of the KART system in another year.

The second increase in service under consideration is an extension of hours into the evening and on weekends.

Since KART is in the first year of operation, a consultant would be paid for by the federal government to develop a three-year plan with O'Connor and the local Transit Advisory Commission.

"New routes and extended service will depend on what the people tell us they want and the results of the consultant study," O'Connor said.

KART has three buses running two routes from 5 a.m.

to 6 p.m.

Monday through Friday.

Except for the early morning stop at Allied Services, the routes begin at the Safeway transfer point at Stockton Hill Road and Gordon Drive.

Call 753-8762 or, for curb service, 681-RIDE.

A rider survey was conducted during the April-May-June quarter.

Of the 160 contacted, 39 percent used the bus to get to work or to search for a job.

Another 20 percent were shopping and 13 percent were using the bus to get to an educational site.

Nine percent were on medical trips and another nine percent had recreational or leisure destinations.

Eight percent used KART to get to government service sites.

Most of the passengers in the April, May and June quarter, 59 percent, were adults and 22 percent were under age 16.

Ten percent were seniors over age 60 and nine percent of the rides were disabled.

The yellow route north from Safeway at Gordon Drive has added stops at Thompson Avenue and N.

Bank Street, at Castle Rock Road and Swan Drive and at N.

Sierra Road at Northern Avenue.

The blue route added two new stops on Stockton Hill Road at Walgreen's at Airway Avenue and at the Main Post Office at Johnson Avenue.

The Stockton Hill Road stop north of Kino Avenue at Planet was moved across the street to Cliff Findlay Auto.

A special 4:55 a.m.

stop at Allied Forces located between Stockton Hill Road and Hall Street was added for workers to get to the Kingman Airport and Industrial Park.

O'Connor checks riders and stops regularly to make minor adjustments to improve service.