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GO Transit ridership soars in 2016

Pierce County Public Works

Published: 03:06PM January 26th, 2017

The 2016 GO Lewis-McChord numbers are in. The year saw exciting progress in all four programs that provide alternate transportation options to the entire Joint Base Lewis-McChord community.

The GO Lewis-McChord programs include the free:

• on-base transit system GO Transit with connections to Pierce Transit and Sound Transit;

• the free bike rental program GO Bike;

• the free van pool program GO Rideshare;

• and supporting these three programs in marketing efforts is the fourth program, GO Outreach.

The program exists to reduce congestion on base and along the I-5 corridor, to improve air quality by reducing the number of vehicles driving and to save community members time and money.

All of these programs worked throughout 2016 to increase program usage and improve the overall systems.

The success can be seen in the 2016 numbers:

• GO Transit provided more than 48,000 rides on the installation.

• GO Bike logged 1,973 trips totaling more than 2,471 miles ridden.

• GO Rideshare maintained more than 50 van pools commuting from Thurston and Pierce counties.

• GO Outreach briefed 6,668 JBLM community members, primarily new service members, increased the program’s social media presence through Facebook, and launched the website GOLewisMcchord.com.

Certain increases continued to grow over the course of the entire year. GO Transit ridership increased fairly consistently throughout the year.

GO Transit ridership grew by 256 percent between January and October. The first month saw 2,244 rides while 5,746 rides were provided in October. Ridership was slightly lower in November and December partially due to holidays and inclement weather.

The biggest spike in GO Bike usage was in April and May. In April, the bike fleet at the 373rd Training Squadron, Detachment 12, on McChord Field, made more than 500 trips.

On McChord Field, the GO Bikes have become integrated with physical training and transportation to classes. This has led to a large increase in the regular usage of the bikes.

GO Bike has 104 bikes that can be moved to fleet locations with the most demand, including a move that increased the number of bicycles available at the Madigan Army Medical Center and 373rd Training Detachment Squadron fleets for a total of 35 bikes.

The program continues improving and expanding GO Transit and GO Bike because they are key transportation options for individuals on base. These systems need to become more efficient and accessible to encourage continuing increases in van pools and car pools commuting to JBLM.

When people use GO Transit and GO Bike during the day they can easily be used for either work or personal uses. They work just as well to get to the two JBLM exchanges or the gym as they do to go to class or a meeting. With the continuing expansions in GO Transit and GO Bike, the participation in GO Rideshare is expected to increase.

More van pools and car pools will make JBLM a less congested and more environmentally-friendly place.

GO Rideshare has met with more than 10 Rental Partnership Program through JBLM’s Housing Services Office apartment property managers in Thurston and Pierce counties. This has increased awareness for van pool programs to JBLM community members living in the same apartment property.

The hope is that those living near each other can easily share the ride to commute together.

GO Outreach supported the three programs with daily briefings incorporated into the onboarding process for new service members and Department of Defense employees. Through this, news of the GO Lewis-McChord programs reached 6,668 new JBLM community members in 2016.

Additional outreach gains included reaching nearly 900 Likes on the Facebook page and viewers enjoyed the first GO Seattle video showing folks how to ride the bus to Seattle for under $10.

The GO Lewis-McChord programs will continue to improve and expand through 2017 and beyond. The system improvements depend upon usage and feedback from you — JBLM community members.

To send comments or learn more about GO programs visit GOLewisMcChord.com and to stay up-to-date on additional changes, by liking the GO Lewis-McChord Facebook page at Facebook.com/GOLewisMcChord.