Trolley service to Island to be cut next month - Havasu News: News

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Trolley service to Island to be cut next month

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Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 12:01 am

Trolley service to the Island — lower Swanson Avenue, South Lake Havasu Avenue and the Ross Center — will be cut beginning Oct. 1 because of significant ridership reduction compared to 2011, city officials recently announced.

Despite the recent announcement, Operations Department Director Gary Parsons said he and city leadership made the decision in July because of the staggering ridership loss.

Lower McCulloch Boulevard and the “Main Street” area will still be served by the Blue and Red routes. New route brochures are expected to be available by the end of the month.

“We were holding our own through February,” Parsons said. But March, April, May and June featured brutal declines in ridership, he added.

Between the beginning of March and the end of August, ridership of the city’s trolley system dropped by 9,651 rides, Parsons said. The declines came after the city experienced a six percent reduction in rides after a July 2011 service cut and labor reduction.

“We knew we would lose ridership at that time,” Parsons said referring to last year’s cut. But this year’s ridership fall was a surprise, he added.

“We can’t make a knee-jerk decision based on one month, but four months to the end of June is a trend,” Parsons said. It is a bad trend he said and while July and August ridership numbers weren’t as bad as the previous months, they signified reductions from the previous year as well.

Parsons said the notations about the route’s closure are posted at the specific stops and he’s heard from individuals and groups that are upset. But the numbers warranted a change, he said.

“We gave it our best shot, but we have to be conservative” Parsons said.

It’s difficult to pinpoint any specific reason why there was a significant ridership drop, but Parsons said he thought that more young people moving back to urban areas played a part, along with a continued sluggish economy.

The trolley system is not a moneymaking venture by any stretch.

The federal government subsidizes Lake Havasu City’s transit system paying for about $.65 of every $1 in the city’s transit program, Parsons said. The city ends up paying $540,000 out of its own pocket for the transit program, he added.

State lottery money used to help fund the city’s transit program up to $225,000 until the state decided to take those monies away in 2009 and sweep them into the general fund, Parsons said.

Despite the glum announcement, those who are interested in catching a trolley ride up to the Shops at Lake Havasu have two more hours they can do that – 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. instead of 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. beginning Oct. 1.

More people had been requesting the added hours of service to the mall so the city added hours, restoring the service to the mall closer to what it previously had been, Parsons said.

For more information on the transit cutbacks, contact the city’s transit division at 453-7600.

You may contact the reporter at gmoberly@havasunews.com.

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8 comments:

  • woody posted at 11:56 am on Sun, Sep 23, 2012.

    woody Posts: 167

    The drag strip will prove to be a better investment than the Empty Mall ( and who's idea was it to build a out door mall? in this Hot place? very stupid. If I go toa mall I want Air condition.

     
  • alsview posted at 9:38 am on Thu, Sep 20, 2012.

    alsview Posts: 200

    "Also, the current routes and time of service is a joke. 9 am to 5:30 pm is not sufficient for a lot of people. How about 7am to 9:30 pm? "
    Roco

    Hear! Hear! The present schedule just does not serve the community satisfactorily. As one who supports and depends on the bus system, my day generally has to be over by 6:30 PM so as not to inconvenience the staff. I have had to miss countless events scheduled for the early evening because I would have had no way to get home (round trip taxi would be around 14 bucks which makes one really weigh the value of an event.) If you are going to go to all the expense of a transit system, make it one that people can use. In this economy, I am sure qualified personnel can be found willing to work into the early evening hours.

     
  • woody posted at 9:03 pm on Wed, Sep 19, 2012.

    woody Posts: 167

    I know for us we would love to ride in it but unless my little dog is allowed (inside of his airline zipped bag) then we probably will not ride. In Long Beach CA he is allowed on all public buses as long as he is in his carrier......I hope this rule can be adopted in Havasu. Iwould love to ride in it some time.

     
  • Cool Bridge posted at 8:11 pm on Wed, Sep 19, 2012.

    Cool Bridge Posts: 36

    So young people are leaving Havasu. Sounds like everyone is leaving Havasu. There is a severe lack of opportunity here. Tourists seem to have left as well. Increased service to the mall, you mean Wal-mart I think. Last time I was at the mall I was not bothered by crowds. I thought those thousands of college students would have helped to make transit successful. This town is just sad these days, and we've no one to lead us out of this mess.

     
  • Roco posted at 11:52 am on Wed, Sep 19, 2012.

    Roco Posts: 725

    Seeing how congested the high school area is, why not establish a transit schedule to serve the high school. Charge a daily fee and/or a student pass. This would help decrease the congestion. Also, the current routes and time of service is a joke. 9 am to 5:30 pm is not sufficient for a lot of people. How about 7am to 9:30 pm? How about a main route covering the entire length of McCulloch with routes off of it? This would cover more area and maybe more people would use it. Just an idea.

     
  • parsonslhc posted at 7:21 am on Wed, Sep 19, 2012.

    parsonslhc Posts: 1

    A point of correction, The decline in ridership of 9,651 rides from March thru August was SYSTEM WIDE and not just from the trolley. That includes the other four routes, curb to curb service and the senior program. Gary Parsons, Operations Director.

     
  • LosTacos posted at 7:12 am on Wed, Sep 19, 2012.

    LosTacos Posts: 337

    Well that didn't take long. Now if the news herald would cut out all the pop advertising and the blinky bazinky adds on the side of my paper. After reading two articles i have to close 8 news hearld local adds.

     
  • myideas posted at 5:44 am on Wed, Sep 19, 2012.

    myideas Posts: 583

    Another of the great success stories from the city council. This goes along with the $600,000 seed money for air service, a shopping center with 40 or 50 empty store fronts and next up will be the drag race track.

     

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