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Gator Line ridership up in first year

Over one-third of Gator Line riders are under age 65, Beverly Paul, executive director of Hyde County Transit, reported recently to Tyrrell County Board of Commissioners.

Hyde County Transit, a private non-profit, operates the Gator Line public transportation program in Tyrrell County under contract.

Twenty-three percent of riders in Tyrrell are in the 40-59 age range, 8% in the 18-39 group, and 4% under 17.

The largest group, 60 years and over, accounts for 65% of ridership.

Gator Line grew out of the long-established senior citizens’ transportation system, lastly called TRIP, operated by the Senior Adult Activity Center.

Paul showed graphics that indicated 16 riders when TRIP was expanded to Gator Line a year ago.

In July 2017 ridership enrollment rose to 44 patrons; by October it was up to 62, topped 100 in January 2018, and was at 126 at March 31.

Paul told the commissioners a new bus will be put into service in Tyrrell soon.

The Gator Line proposed budget for the year beginning July 1 shows a 3.7% increase in operations with an expected 10% gain in passenger trips over the current year.

Paul’s goal is to provide 7,700 passenger trips to Tyrrell residents during the coming year.