More people are choosing Westport's public buses to hop around town. And, officials say better funding is a key reason for that spike.
"We were able to get a twenty-thousand dollar for marketing because we felt public transportation was underused," said Gene Cederbaum, co-director of the Westport Transit District.
That money went to signs like this one at the Westport Train Station. And this Kiosk popping up here at the Westport Senior Center. The Transit District said those efforts have ridership jumping 11 percent from last year.
“The really critical piece is the marketing efforts and that’s exactly what the transit kiosk is doing," said Rep. Kim Fawcett of Fairfield's 133rd District.
Commuters —seniors-and even students are all taking advantage of the service, with routes to downtown shopping -after school activities - and other hard to park areas.
"People use transit when its easy and convenient and not far from the train," continued Fawcett.
Now here at the Westport train statin - there aren’t any parking spaces available. And plus this - just to be able to park here you need a permit - for which there is a four to five year wait. And that's why transit officials say the bus service can make a big difference for daily commuters.
"We are rooted in habits and the habit to drive your car to the station and the percieved convenience it has is something you can't overcome unless you can't find a parking space," said Cederbaum.
Right now - a fare on the bus service is $1.50 with service Monday - Friday.
Transit officials said they hope to see further expansion of the bus service in the coming years.