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Oxford University Transit (OUT) ridership dips slightly in March

The number of people riding the bus in March dipped slightly from March 2016, according to the monthly Oxford University Transit report.

OUT Manager Ron Biggs presented the report Wednesday during the OUT Commission meeting.

The number of bus trips in March was 131,809, compared to 133,270 in March 2016. The numbers reflect each time someone gets on a bus. Some people ride the bus more than once a day.

Most of the riders were University of Mississippi students, accounting for 128,365 trips. Revenue for the month was $1,699. Ole Miss students ride the bus for free with the university covering the costs for their fare.

More than 1,100 students rode the Safe Ride Route in March, which runs Thursday-Saturday nights, giving students a safe way to ride home to campus from the Square.

Biggs also reported four buses have received new navy wrapping. Eventually, all buses will be wrapped with the navy vinyl, replacing the original white and green colors.

“They look really good,” said Commission Chair Donna Gurley.

Transportation consultant Tim Akers said Wednesday five companies have returned proposal requests to manage the OUT bus system. Currently, McDonald Transit manages the system; however, their contract is up in August. McDonald has submitted a proposal to continue managing the system.

The deadline for submissions is May 9. The commission voted to review all the submissions during their next regular meeting on May 10 and possibly making their selection at that time.