February 18, 2005

York Region Transit ridership increases more than 14 per cent in 2004

NEWMARKET York Region Transit (YRT) increased its ridership by more than 14 per cent in 2004, marking the fourth consecutive year of ridership increases greater than 10 per cent since YRT was formed in 2001.  Additionally, 2004 marked the first year that YRT's cost-recovery ratio exceeded 50 per cent.
"This is terrific news. We have surpassed the 50 per cent revenue-to-cost ratio sooner than we had anticipated," said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch.  "It's very gratifying to see that all our work, particularly the efforts of YRT staff, is beginning to pay off.  We still have plenty of work ahead of us but we are succeeding in reducing dependency on automobiles; a trend that we hope to continue with the launch of our Viva rapid transit system this fall."
Total YRT passengers for 2004 exceeded 13.8 million riders.  This represents an increase of over 3.5 million passengers (or 34 per cent) from last year's total of just over 10 million.  Excluding riders from the Yonge and Bayview routes acquired from GO Transit in 2003, the true 2004 growth rate for YRT is 14.3 per cent.
"The 2004 ridership numbers for YRT clearly suggest that if a comprehensive, affordable and convenient transit service is offered, people are willing to get out of their cars and onto buses," said Markham Regional Councillor Jim Jones, Chair of the Region's Transit Committee.  "I'm very pleased to see people switching over to transit.  Adopting transit will be a key factor to managing traffic congestion."
YRT Mobility Plus Transit for passengers with special needs also experienced a ridership boost in 2004, with an increase of just over 19 per cent.  Passenger trips totalled more that 243,000.
For more information about York Region Transit, including fares, schedules and service, please call toll-free 1-866-MOVE YRT (668-3978), locally at (905) 881-5167 or TTY line at 1-866-276-7478 or visit www.yorkregiontransit.com
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at: www.york.ca
Media Contact:   Michael Kemp, Corporate Communications, York Region
- (905) 830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 1232
- Email: michael.kemp@york.ca

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