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Monthly passes boost TTA revenue

Jan. 24, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Monthly bus passes are contributing to an increase in revenue for the Tri-State Transit Authority.

The $35 passes give riders unlimited access to the local bus system for 31 days at a time. The agency also offers one-day passes for $4, but Chief Financial Officer Scott Stultz said monthly passes are more popular.

TTA sold $121,548 in passes from July to December 2012, Stultz said. That marked a 13 percent increase as compared to $107,683 in passes sold during the same time period in 2011.

General Manager Paul Davis and Stultz spoke about the increase Wednesday at TTA's regularly scheduled meeting.

An organization that routinely buys passes for its clientele accounted for approximately 10 percent of the increase. Davis and Stultz attributed a significant portion of the remaining increase to riders realizing the value of a pass. For instance, Stultz said a person who takes the transit system to work on a route that forces them to switch buses could pay $4 to $5 a day, potentially equaling the price of a monthly pass in seven days.

"It's a good value," Davis agreed.

The increasing popularity of a bus pass comes as TTA experiences a mixed bag of operating results, including a decline in ridership, but increases in revenue.

Davis has attributed the mixed picture to last year's termination of a free downtown shuttle service. He believes some of those people stopped riding, but others started paying for the service.

At the same time, TTA has reported an increase in ridership on a route servicing Mountwest Community and Technical Center, which recently relocated atop a hill off 5th Street Road. Davis estimates TTA has averaged about 100 student riders a day. He said continued success could lead to a need for expanded service.

TTA's year-to-date numbers show $437,982.22 in revenue for July to December 2012. That represents a 9 percent increase from $401,330.85 received during the same time period in 2011.

Follow Curtis Johnson via Twitter @curtisjohnsonHD and http://facebook.com/curtisjohnsonHD.

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