(Riverton, Wyo.) – The WRTA Bus Lines reported last week that its special Purple Line running from Riverton to Jackson this summer to connect with the Linx system serving the Greater Yellowstone Area attracted 78 riders during its four month run.
“That number isn’t surprising to me,” said WRTA Transportation Manager Ben Eastmond. “It usually takes anywhere from two to five years for a new bus route to catch hold. With those who did take the route, the feedback was very positive.”
The Linx system supported the route this past summer with a subsidy, covering the operating costs of $15,650. The WRTA Purple Line connected at Moran Junction with the Linx line heading into Grand Teton and Yellowstone Parks, and in Jackson for connections to Idaho Falls and Salt Lake City. The bus layover in Jackson also allowed passengers to take the bus to Jackson, attend medical appointments or go shopping, and return to Fremont County in the evening.
The route stopped in Riverton, Lander, Fort Washakie and Dubois.
The Purple Line began service on June 4th and ended on September 30th.
Another line that was started on an experimental basis for three months this summer will not be continued, Eastmond reported. The Blue Line from Thermopolis to Riverton “has had little ridership,” he said. The route was sponsored by the Wind River Hotel and Casino and the Thermopolis Tourism Council. “We tried it and it didn’t work out,” he said.
Overall, ridership on the WRTA Bus Lines was up in September and October by 5.25 percent from the previous year. Ridership during those months increased from 13,084 passengers in 2012 to 13,771 rides this year.