• 63°

OUT sees record numbers

When preparing the budget for the fiscal year 2016-2017, Oxford University Transit officials predicted ridership would hit 1 million riders.

According to figures presented Wednesday to the Oxford-University Transit commission, that expectation was met and exceeded.

The fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

OUT Manager Ron Biggs presented ridership numbers to the board the showed 1,335,830 people rode the bus in the last 12 months.

September ridership hit record numbers with 221,277 rides.

“It’s the most riders we’ve had in a month,” said OUT board chair Donna Gurley.

Sept. 2015 saw a record-breaking month with 200,757 rides.

About 200,000 of the riders were University of Mississippi students with the rest being non-student riders.

After being on a decline, the fare box also saw an increase. The university pays for its students to ride the bus free of charge. In September, fare boxes and monthly passes sold totaled $2,805 up from September 2015 when $2,333 was collected.

During the three September home football games, 16,000 rode the OUT shuttles. Those numbers are not included in the overall September ridership figures.

Much of the increase in ridership comes from the increase of student population at the university. In 2011, the student population on the Oxford campus was 16,586. That number grew to 19.996 during the 2015-2016 school year.