Wichita Transit officials say the city’s return to free Black Friday bus service was successful.
Ridership was up “significantly,” Wichita Transit director Steve Spade said.
“It was successful beyond expectations,” Spade said in a news release.
The system carried 5,700 riders last Friday, a 62 percent increase over normal Saturday service that averages 3,500 riders. Wichita Transit ran Saturday schedules – between 6 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. – on Black Friday.
The free riders were the first time in recent years that Wichita Transit provided bus service on the day after Thanksgiving. The free service resulted from resident requests during the city’s community meetings to gain input on the bus system’s future.
Those meetings produced suggestions night and Sunday service and more frequent bus service. Residents also recommended stronger transit connections with other area communities.
Black Friday service will return next year, Spade said.
“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.