AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -The Afton Express has seen more than 12,000 rides completed. The first year’s main focus was making people aware of the service, but the influx of business was seen most after gas went up last summer.

“We saw people continue to ride after the gas prices went down a little, so I think once people realized how convenient it is to give up their car and just park and ride over the mountain in the morning in the evening, they are committed to riding,” Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission Regional Planner Paula Melester said.

Melester said the support shows the need for transportation between the Valley and Charlottesville. Since 90 percent of the passengers are regular riders, plans are already in motion for Afton Express to add another bus.

“The third bus just generally gives us the capacity to be able to offer more frequency of the trips,” Melester said.

The expanded schedule will go into effect Feb. 13.

“It will head over to Charlottesville and Albemarle starting at 6 p.m., so I can drop workers off by 6:45, and then it will circle back and it will pick up workers at 7:45 p.m., bringing them back over the mountain at the end of the day,” Melester said.

All of the planned changes will be posted on the Afton Express page on Feb. 1. With the change, Afton Express will be able to serve more commuters with schedules beyond the typical work day.