July 4, 2012. AppalCART announced a record annual ridership figure of 1,584,293 passenger trips for the fiscal year completed June 30, 2012. According to transportation director, Chris Turner, this year marked the fifth time the transportation authority passed the one million trips threshold. Moreover, AppalCART experienced a 17.1 percent increase in ridership over the prior fiscal year with a 2 percent increase in hours of service and a 3.5 percent increase in miles of service.
Turner noted that the system had recorded 55,437.23 hours of service and 751,165 miles of service in the recently completed fiscal year. Turner said that due to legislative budget cuts AppalCART cut off peak hours on its bus service but due to increased funding from the University AppalCART added some peak hour service by making the Red Route shorter and operating the State Farm Shuttle more hours.
The transportation authority also recorded 186,409 miles of van service throughout Watauga County that resulted in 15,936 one-way trips.
The door to door paratransit van service recorded 12,739 passenger trips in 48,274 miles of service for a ridership decrease of 13.7 percent.
For more information on AppalCART services, visit www.appalcart.com, or call the dispatch office at 828-264-2278.