Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird today congratulated StarTran on increasing ridership 27 percent from 2017 to 2018, the largest increase in Region VII of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The increase of 526,072 patrons earned StarTran the FTA Award of Excellence earlier this month. The FTA evaluates ridership for all urban transit providers in the region every year. Region VII includes Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.
"Many of our residents use StarTran to get to and from work, and that makes affordable and convenient public transit a key to our economic development efforts," Mayor Gaylor Baird said. "I want to thank StarTran and its Advisory Board for their hard work to increase ridership. And I want to thank StarTran riders for making a safe and energy-efficient choice."
Gaylor Baird also commended StarTran for being a long time national leader in the use of alternative fuels and said the City looks forward to the arrival of StarTran's electric buses in 2020.
StarTran Transit Manager Michael Davis said the increase resulted from the implementation of the Transit Development Plan in November of 2016. "Our community came together to provide feedback on improvements-filling out surveys, attending public meetings and participating in stakeholder meetings," Davis said. "Our employees have also been great in providing feedback to the plan as well as implementing the recommendations. We are constantly looking to improve our system, and it was nice to receive this award reflecting everyone's efforts."
Davis also said the first phase of StarTran's bus stop improvement project is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The project includes installation of bus stop pads, benches and shelters at 33 locations. The second phase of the improvement program is expected to begin in the spring of 2020. The improvement project also includes the addition of bus stops near three schools: Lefler Middle School, Moore Middle School, and Lincoln High School.
More information on StarTran is available at startran.lincoln.ne.gov.