The AppalCART bus service broke their record for September ridership with 232,675 riders.Ridership was up more than 11 percent this September compared to last September, according to appalcart.comThere are several reasons for these higher numbers, Director of AppalCART Chris Turner said.Higher Appalachian State University enrollment, three new 40-foot buses, the addition of the Teal Route and a second Purple Route bus added this year all contributed to the increased numbers in ridership, Turner said.
The new 40-foot-long buses can hold more students than traditional buses, Turner said.The Teal Route and the addition of The Cottages of Boone have also had an impact on the ridership, said Barry Sauls, director of Parking and Traffic.”This is the first year of existence for that route, because it primarily serves The Cottages of Boone complex, which is new,” Sauls said in an email. “So I don’t think there is any doubt that the several hundred residents of the complex who utilize the Teal Route to come/go from campus daily has resulted in the bulk of the increase in ridership.”The university will continue to work to increase route options, Sauls said.Appalachian currently pays approximately 90 percent of the costs for AppalCART because approximately the same percentage of the riders is comprised of students. Sauls proposes fee changes each year to meet the needs of students riding the AppalCART, based on ridership, he said.A fee committee will review the proposal and decide later in the semester to either approve or deny the fees.
Story: CHELSEY FISHER, Senior News Reporter