WEIRTON - Ridership at the Weirton Transit Corp. has taken a slight dive in numbers as officials said changes involving the services deviated routes has confused some members of the public.
Transit Manager Kevin Beynon said the local public transportation organization looked to customers for more cooperation when it comes to deviations from the regular routes in order to get more efficiency out of the new Transched program several weeks ago. However, he said there have been less calls because some members of the public are confused about what qualifies as a deviated pick-up.
Beynon said he believes people are traveling less often because they can no longer call the transit the same day and go throughout the city. He said having customers call in requests for pick-ups has always been a part of the policy but it's now being enforced.
"In order to utilize the Transched program the way it's meant to be used, last minute calls just don't work," he said.
Transched was put in place as part of the Regional Access Mobility Partnership between Weirton Transit and other local transportation providers.
Beynon said Weirton Transit has been working to adhere to the system to get full use of the program. The major factor, he said, is the customers. He said there has been some confusion from places like Freedom Place, a stop on the regular route, about having to call ahead of time.
However, Beynon said that is not the case. He said those getting on the bus on the regular routes will not have to call ahead of time but those requiring curbside pick-up off the regular route will need to call.
"Right now the numbers are down but we expected that to happen. I believe we'll see the numbers decline and then come back up and level out once people are used to how we're operating," Beynon added.
According to Transit officials, the public transportation service will continue to work with people in emergency situations; however, Assistant Manager Ted Salonica said the transit service will not be picking up same-day calls in an attempt to get customers to call in ahead of time.
Salonica said if work schedules or doctor appointments are put in the system, then the program can track the bus's time and routes through the Transched program, something it was designed and implemented to do.
"We're hoping we can get more cooperation from the public," he said.
For more information on schedules and deviated routes contact the Weirton Transit Corp. at (304) 797-8597.
(Dickson can be contacted at email@example.com)