ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE -- Officials with the Macon Transit Authority and Robins Air Force Base held a news conference Wednesday to tout the progress of the Macon-to-Robins shuttle that has been in operation for more than a year.
Figures on ridership vary widely because MTA and Robins count it differently. Robins counts the number of riders who enter the base each day on the bus line, known as Buses into Robins Daily, or BiRD. In December that was 856, down from a high of more than 1,000 in November, but base officials credit the drop-off to the holiday season and expect it will rise back over 1,000 in January.
MTA counts rides, which means one person riding to the base and back in a day to Macon would count as two rides. But the buses also make several other stops along the route, and many of the riders don’t work at Robins, said Rick Jones, MTA chief executive officer.
He said MTA calculated about 4,000 rides for BiRD in December. MTA doesn’t distinguish the Robins riders from other riders on the line, but going by the Robins figure, which would be doubled under the MTA calculation, it would mean more than half of those riding the BiRD are not Robins workers.
Regardless of how they calculate the ridership, both Jones and John Pugh, 78th Mission Support Group deputy director, said they are pleased with the progress of BiRD which started just over a year ago. It was an effort to reduce traffic flow and parking problems at Robins.
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