Metro McAllen is driving toward 70,000 trips for the month of August and will possibly reach 750,000 trips for the entire year, a significant milestone in bus ridership for the City of McAllen Transit Department.
Metro McAllen has seen a consistent percentage increase month to month in 2014 compared to last year, and the average percentage growth to date is around four percent. If this trend continues, Metro McAllen could eclipse all previous records for ridership.
“This would be a huge accomplishment for us, and it is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of the Metro McAllen team, as well as the continued support of our riders,” City of McAllen Transit Director Mario Delgado said.
In 2005 the City of McAllen transitioned Metro McAllen, then known as McAllen Express Transit, into a division of the city under the Transit Department. Since that time, ridership has grown over 100 percent with the addition of routes, new buses and marketing campaigns.
Last April the Federal Transit Administration awarded Metro McAllen an award for its 15.5 percent increase in ridership from 2012 to 2013, marking the highest percentage increase under the small urban transit systems category.
“McAllen is a rapidly growing city and connectivity and a reliable public transit system are key to our development moving forward,” said Mayor Jim Darling. “The growth of the system shows that there is a demand for the service, and it is a testament to the good work our Metro McAllen personnel do every day.”
To accommodate all the growth, Metro McAllen continues to improve its system and better accommodate riders. In July, the City Commission awarded a contract to purchase solar powered bus shelters and trash receptacles for several bus stop areas.
The shelters are top-of-the-line products that aesthetically enrich rider locations, while the solar lighting adds safety and security features. The shelters will be placed along Metro McAllen routes for waiting passengers. Among the proposed locations are the new VA Clinic, the Social Security office, STC campuses, Trenton Shopping area, and the Dove and McColl Road intersection.
“We feel that these shelters will provide comfort, convenience, and an added sense of security to our passengers at some of our most widely used stops,” Delgado said.