OC Bus Ridership Drops Slightly

OCEAN CITY – Bus ridership in Ocean City saw a 1-percent decrease in calendar year 2017, according to resort officials.

A report on bus ridership for calendar year 2017 was presented to members of Ocean City’s Transportation Committee Tuesday.

While bus ridership decreased from 2,535,416 in 2016 to 2,501,949 in 2017, Transit Manager Mark Rickards said the report highlights ridership stability.

“To me it shows the stabilization of ridership,” he said. “We’re kind of bucking the national trend.”

Although the resort reported a 1-percent decrease in ridership in 2017, Rickards said ridership actually increased in six of the 12 months – February, April, May, September, October and December.

For example, ridership in February increased 7 percent from the year prior, while ridership in April increased 15 percent from the year prior.

Those gains, however, were not large enough to offset significant decreases in ridership, particularly during the months of January, March, July and August.

Ridership in July, for example, decreased 32,022, while ridership in August decreased 16,323.

“We know exactly what we need to do,” Rickards said. “July, to me, spells out that we need to do a little more marketing with families and promotions.”

Overall, Rickards noted consistent trends in deployment, revenue and ridership. Bus deployment, for example, decreased from 10,217 in 2016 to 10,208 in 2017.

“It tells me we are consistent in our statistics,” he said. “Revenue, deployments and ridership were about the same in 2017.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.