For a seventh consecutive year, The Jule has posted a record increase in transit ridership. Transit usage in Dubuque has risen to over 550,000 annual rides, with a significant portion of this growth a result of increased fixed-route usage. Dubuque’s college and university population account for a large percentage of the rise in fixed-route ridership in fiscal year (FY) 2016.
This year’s increase continues The Jule’s trend of annual growth. Transit ridership has increased 26%, or over 150,000 rides, in the last five years. The 553,387 total ridership in FY16 consists of a 14,786-ride increase in fixed-route ridership even with the $100,000 reduction in operating costs from combining low ridership routes in August 2015.
With the shift in ridership towards an increased use of fixed-route service, the cost per ride is reduced for Dubuque taxpayers. Jule staff continue to conduct ongoing ridership analysis to determine passenger needs for bus routes, stop locations, and opportunities to combine routes and use peak and off peak scheduling to allocate resources efficiently. The continued partnership between the Jule and Clarke University, Loras College, and the University of Dubuque will also contribute to the growth pattern of both daytime and nighttime ridership.
In addition to this year’s success, The Jule was recognized by the Federal Transit Administration, Region 7 Office, for the largest percent increase in ridership for urban transit systems in Iowa with a 15.4% increase from fiscal year 2014 and 2015.