The Afton Express has seen an increase in ridership as gas prices remain high. Ridership has been steadily growing since the service launched in September of 2021, but has really taken off in the last few months. From February to May, the CSPDC saw passenger counts increase by about 5% each month as more people learn of the service. From May to June that number jumped to 25%. As of June, the Afton Express sees between 45 and 50 passenger trips per day Monday through Thursday. Ridership is slightly lower on Friday, as people may take vacation, or may drive their own car to get a head start on their weekend plans.
CSPDC Planners attribute the increase in ridership to several factors. Gas prices are likely a factor. Additionally, more employees are transitioning back to an in-person work schedule. And finally, the partnership with the University of Virginia’s Parking and Transportation Office has made it easier for UVA employees to purchase Afton Express farecards.
An expansion of the service is planned for the fall of 2022. The CSPDC seeks to add an additional run in the evening that would allow the Afton Express to better serve hospital staff who work 12-hour shifts and get off work later than the service currently runs.
For more information about the Afton Express, visit www.aftonexpress.org