The Fairfax Connector bus network saw more of a fall-off in ridership during the initial phase of the COVID crisis than some of the region’s other bus systems, but less of a decline than Metrobus ridership across Northern Virginia.
For the fiscal year ending June 30, the Fairfax Connector system – funded by the Fairfax government but operated by a private contractor – reported an average daily boarding total of 22,610, down 18.6 percent from the 27,782 reported for the previous fiscal year.
A decline of that magnitude may seem like not much to celebrate, but keep in mind it includes a three-month period from April to June that saw the local area in the depths of the COVID pandemic and lockdown, which cut ridership to nearly nothing before beginning a very gradual, and far from complete, rebound.
That decline in year-over-year average daily boardings for Fairfax Connector compares to a drop of 12.8 percent for Arlington Transit (ART); a decline of 16.1 percent for Alexandria’s DASH system; and a drop of 23.6 percent for Metrobus ridership across Northern Virginia.
Across Northern Virginia as a whole, transit ridership for the fiscal year ending June 30 totaled 62.1 million, down 23.8 percent from a year before and off nearly a third from fiscal 2016.
(Those figures include ridership on the Metro and Virginia Railway Express rail systems; Metrobus in Northern Virginia; and both intra-locality and interjurisdictional bus service across the region.)
Figures were reported to the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission earlier in the month.
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