Article Published: Jan. 10, 2014 | Modified: Jan. 10, 2014
AppalCART, the local public transportation authority serving Watauga County, reported record ridership of 1,712,873 passenger trips in 834,714 miles of service during 2013.
The numbers were a 6-percent increase from the year before, which had 1,611,298 passenger trips in 771,801 miles of service during 2012.
Hours of service for the transportation authority increased 8 percent during the same time period. Miles of service increased 8 percent more than those delivered in 2012.
AppalCART transportation director Chris Tuner said, “The 6 percent increase amounted to an additional 101,575 recorded trips over the total for 2012.”
Turner attributed the increase to a combination of several things: three new 40-foot-long buses with more capacity and two new routes, Silver and Teal, which began during the year.
While AppalCART is best known for its bus service, it also provides door-to-door van service throughout Watauga County under contracts with human service agencies, and the routes are available to the fare-paying public.