Wichita Transit ridership increased significantly on Friday, Nov. 29, when public bus rides were free as a way to support riders on Black Friday, one of the busiest retail days of the year.
“It was successful beyond expectations,” Wichita Transit Director Steve Spade said.
Wichita Transit ran Saturday schedules – between 6 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. - on Black Friday. Normal Saturday service levels generate an average of 3500 daily riders. On Black Friday, Wichita Transit carried 5700 riders, a 62% increase.
The Black Friday free service marked the first time in recent years that Wichita Transit provided bus service on the day after Thanksgiving. The decision to offer the service the day after the holiday was the result of extensive community engagement meetings in which residents provided feedback on service.
The engagement process also resulted in suggestions for communitywide transit improvements including night and Sunday service and more frequent bus service. Residents also recommended stronger transit connections with other area communities.
“Based on the public response to the service, you can expect to see buses running the day after the holiday again in the future,” Spade said.