AUBURN – Auburn University’s popular transit system, Tiger Transit, reached a milestone in 2007 carrying more than 2 million riders, nearly tripling the number of riders the system carried only five years ago.
“More people are riding Tiger Transit than ever, and the numbers keep growing,” said David George, AU’s director of Parking and Transit Services. “Students, especially, have found that the buses are the best alternative for transportation to, from and around campus.”
Last year, the system carried 2,077,714 riders, up substantially from the 765,757 riders the system transported during the 2002 calendar year.
George cites several reasons for Tiger Transit’s success including improved service and reliability, more routes and shorter routes, additional buses and the installation of Trans-Loc, a GPS system that allows riders to monitor buses in motion and the routes in real time on a detailed map displayed on the Internet or a Web-enabled cellular phone.
“For many students, AU is really a commuter campus for all practical purposes. And we are trying to make that commute as painless as possible,” George said.
He added that the university’s move to a more pedestrian-centered campus also prompts many students to choose the transit instead of driving to campus.
“This has really increased the desirability of taking Tiger Transit because the bus will get you closer to campus than parking your car,” George said.
Tiger Transit came online in the late 90s and began operating under Groome Transportation in 2000. Since that time, the system has seen incremental increases in ridership, which reached unprecedented numbers in 2007.
The Tiger Transit system operates a full fleet of 42 buses on more than 20 routes from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day that classes are in session during fall and summer semesters. On those same days, the system operates a scaled back night fleet to external campus destinations from 6:15 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Transit offers an abbreviated version of its services during the summer semester.
George said he enjoys receiving feedback about Tiger Transit and uses it to make decisions regarding the system’s future. In fact, he employs student workers to hand out surveys on various bus routes every day.
“For the most part, the feedback has been very positive,” he said. “It is really nice to be part of something the majority of students like.”