U-PASS Reports

Night Ride Ridership Report


January 2002

University of Washington Transportation Office


Introduction

Night Ride is a service provided by the University of Washington Transportation Office. The Night Ride is a shuttle system that provides rides for faculty, staff and students from various stops on campus, to neighborhoods and streets off-campus, within the service area (see the "Night Ride Zones" map). All U-PASS holders receive free rides on the Night Ride, and individuals who do not own a U-PASS may purchase individual Night Ride tickets for $1.00 each.

Annual Ridership Statistics

Table 1 provides summary ridership information for the Night Ride from the first year of operation (1991-92) through the 2001-2001 school year. In the 2001-2002 school year, total ridership was 37,419, up approximately 5,000 from 2000-2001 academic year. An average of 232 riders used the Night Ride shuttle each evening it was in operation in 2001-2002, which is about 39 riders per hour. Overall, the average cost per rider in 2001-2002 was $8.57 per rider. Figure 1 displays the changes in the total number of riders over the past eleven years.

Table 1: Night Ride Ridership

91/92

92/93

93/94

94/95

95/96

96/97

97/98

98/99

99/00

00/01

01/02

Total Riders

23,629

37,297

35,578

29,498

33,965

37,009

38,620

38,131

33,498

32,408

37,419

Average Number of Riders per Day

146

235

222

186

218

236

243

238

212

205

232

Average Number of Riders per Hour

25

40

38

31

37

40

41

40

36

35

39

Average Program Cost per Rider

$10.88

$7.15

$7.42

$9.44

$8.29

$7.66

$7.44

$7.41

$8.52

$9.92

$8.57

Figure 1: Annual Total Night Ride Ridership


Ridership Trends

In addition to counting the number of trips taken on the Night Ride shuttle, it is also important to investigate what areas rides are being taken to. In 2001-2002:

  • 46% of all night ride trips are taken on the north (Yellow) van
  • 18% of all night ride trips are taken on the east (Blue) van
  • 36% of all night ride trips are taken on the west (Green) van

These figures follow the same trend as the trends as previous years. The northbound van has the highest ridership, followed by the westbound van. The eastbound van is a distant third in ridership numbers.

Figure 2: Total Annual Ridership by Zone

In addition, ridership volumes fluctuate throughout the year. The chart below shows the average number of riders per day by month. Not surprisingly, peak ridership occurs in the darker, colder months. The graph shown is based on 2001-2002 data.

Figure 3: Average number of Daily Riders by Month


Night Ride User Groups

Some information is also known about the Night Ride user group. According to the 1992 and 1995 Night Ride survey, conducted by the Transportation office, the ridership is composed of the following groups:

Table 2: Night Ride User Groups

User Group19921995
Undergraduate Students51%59%
Graduate Students46%33%
Faculty0%1%
UW Extension0%0%
Staff0%6%

The 1992 and 1995 Night Ride surveys also showed that studying was the primary reason for being on campus in the evening (46% and 54%, respectively) followed by working (23% and 21%), class (19% and 12%) and other reasons. Perhaps marketing could be concentrated in typical studying areas such as libraries, computer labs, etc. The surveys also indicated that ridership is just about equally split between male and female riders.