Full and original article posted on Patch.com
WORCESTER, MA — Worcester Regional Transit Authority ridership experienced an “exceptional” pandemic recovery compared to similar bus system in the state following the records lows of the first months of COVID-19, according to a new study.
The Worcester Regional Research Bureau Wednesday released a new analysis of local public transit use in the years since March 2020, which was also the beginning of a free-fare policy that remains today — but will be up for a vote on Thursday.
WRTA fixed-route ridership peaked in 2015 with nearly 4 million passengers using the system, according to the study. Ridership dwindled in each year after until a major crash in 2020. The system bottomed out at 1.9 million rides that year, but then saw steady growth in 2021 and 2022, reaching 3.6 million rides last year, which is about 150 percent of pre-pandemic levels.
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