Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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September 23, 2010

Trolley picks up

Bus service ridership increasing

Kokomo — Dawn Steward hopped off the City Line bus Thursday afternoon, just off her shift at St. Joseph Hospital.

“My husband does lawn care in town, and sometimes he’s out running around, and sometimes I take the bus home,” she said. “I love green, and anyway, it’s economic. I want to see it succeed.”

Dan Coughlin didn’t have any place to go in particular Thursday, but he was waiting on some buddies to show up to take a bus tour of the City of Firsts.

“Red line, blue line, I’ll probably just take whatever gets here first,” Coughlin said while waiting at the downtown bus terminal. “I think it’s a good thing as long as they’d find some way to fund it besides the taxpayers. I’d really like to see them get it back where it was in the ’50s and ’60s.”

Back then, the buses came every half hour, Coughlin, a longtime Kokomo resident, recalled.

“I think Kokomo needs one, but whether we can support it, I don’t know.”

Kokomo city officials say the public reaction to the City Line trolley has greatly exceeded expectations thus far, with the bus service consistently serving more than 300 people each day.

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said 447 people rode the City Line on Wednesday.

“I rode it the other day, and met with a lot of different people, and most people seem very favorable to having this,” Goodnight said. “I think it’s off to a good start.”

City Line director Tammy Corn said the bus service actually averaged over 400 riders per day last week. Bit by bit, numbers keep going upward.

“I think there’s a novelty factor, and we will probably see our numbers decrease at some point,” she said. “But since we’re exceeding our expectations right now, we’re ahead of the game.”

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