The Bull City Connector buses haven't attracted quite as many riders as City Hall hoped for, according to a first-year report prepared for the City Council's Thursday work session.
Management has ideas for improvement, though.
According to the report, the free service between Duke West Campus and the Golden Belt complex in East Durham was averaging 1,636 riders a day in August, after a full year's operation. The city's target was 2,025 a day.
Ridership exceeded its target after the first three months, then its rate of increase slowed. Still, there was a steady increase in people taking the bus.
A rider survey showed that the Connector had had trouble making its stops on time, which may have discouraged use. One identified cause was street blocking by commercial vehicles loading and unloading; city authorities intend to be stricter enforcing the loading rules.
Other improvements, possible in 2012, include more buses, route extensions – including one to NCCU – and traffic signals that give buses priority at getting through intersections.