The Capital District Transportation Authority carried a record 16.49 million riders in 2013-2014, authority officials announced Thursday.
The number slightly surpasses CDTA’s previous highest ridership total, set in 1983-84, and is an increase of about 5 percent from the year before. Authority officials had been saying for months that the last year was the best for ridership since the early 1980s.
The numbers are for CDTA’s fiscal year, which ended March 30.
“In the last three years, CDTA ridership has surged, with almost 2.7 million more boardings on buses, an increase of 14 percent,” the authority said in a news release.
While high gas prices are part of what convinces people to take the bus, CDTA officials say the launch of a rapid-transit BusPlus service along Central Avenue and an increase in “universal access” agreements with local colleges has fueled the increases.
“Now on to 17 million,” CDTA CEO Carm Basile said.