ShenGo transit system thriving two years after its launch
WOODSTOCK, Va. (WHSV) - Wednesday marked the two-year anniversary of the launch of the ShenGo transit system in Shenandoah County. Two years in the county’s first-ever public transit system has been a major success.
ShenGo has 400 total riders in its first month in service, now two years later its average monthly ridership is over 1,600 people. The bus system has filled a void in the county where the only transit options previously were taxis.
“A taxi just in Woodstock one way would cost $20 maybe to get to the grocery store then you have to pay $20 to get back. So I think the folks here in Shenandoah County were just waiting and it was a huge huge need and they’re definitely taking advantage of having a transit service,” said Karen Taylor, ShenGo project manager for the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission.
ShenGo’s two buses run up and down Shenandoah County with a Northern and Southern route. It costs just one dollar to ride and people in the county have seemed to love it.
“We have not done a whole lot to tweak it just because of the feedback we get. We do ridership surveys every few months and what we hear from the folks riding the transit service is that they are really happy with the way it is,” said Taylor. “With transit, if you even have one change it really does kind of upset the whole route system. People get so used to having the bus there at a certain time at each stop so we listen to our riders.”
Taylor said more stops could added down the road but that depends on what ShenGo riders want. She says there are plans to add benches and transit shelters at some of the most heavily used stops in the next few years. There are also plans for additions down the road.
“We would like to eventually get a transit route to Laurel Ridge Community College in Middletown. We’d like to have a connection up there because there are two other transit systems that have stops there, Winchester Transit and the Corridor Connector in Warren County. So from Shenandoah County if you get to LRCC on our transit bus you could connect with one of those and maybe get to the city of Winchester,” said Taylor.
ShenGo is funded through the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation which manages Virginia’s federal transit funds. ShenGo receives funding annually through a grant.
Taylor hopes that someday in the future ShenGo’s routes could be expanded and another bus could be added to reduce the wait time between stops.
You can learn more about ShenGo here.
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