Bus ridership numbers down

PARKERSBURG – Easy Rider ridership is not at its height in winter.

A consensus with board members at Tuesday night’s Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority meeting was bus ridership was down by one percent for January because of winter storms.

“In my opinion, people are not coming out in the winter time,” MOVTA general manager Tim Thomas said of the report.

Vice president Belinda Fetty said daily ridership has continued to increase, even though January 2013 ridership is lower than January 2012.

The total amount of passes being sold in the last six months has been around 200. July had the least amount of people buying passes at 161 with October having the most sold at 221.

The routes leading to West Virginia University at Parkersburg have been on the rise and run four days a week, officials said.

“It’s nice to see WVU-P really increase the number of passengers (taken to and from the college),” board member Ron Jalbert said of the college routes.

An evening route was added in June 2010 to run to WVU-P, accommodating students taking evening classes. Buses make five daily trips to the campus.

Board treasurer Charles Harris asked the board to discuss adding a pay raise for employees in the future. He said employees have not seen an increase in pay since 2011 and believes it should be researched. Officials decided to discuss the matter at a future date, probably in April or May, they said.

Thomas said meetings for public comment will be held next month to discuss the plans for a new maintenance garage. Board officials are looking into beginning a construction project but have not made final plans.

The meetings are tentatively scheduled for March 13 and 27. The meetings will be held with preliminary designs in mind, Thomas said.