ShenGo bus system achieves huge success in the first year

WOODSTOCK, Va. (WHSV) – It’s been almost a year since the ShenGo bus system launched in Shenandoah County, and so far the county’s first-ever transit system has been a huge success.

The system was launched in October and had over 400 passengers in its first month, ridership has been steadily increasing since then.

“Now we’re at over 1,000 passengers a month and it’s not even a year later, so it’s really exceeded our expectations, but I just think the citizens of Shenandoah County were waiting for options. transportation throughout the county,” Karen said. Taylor, ShenGo Project Manager for the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission.

The regional commission oversees ShenGo and said passenger feedback has been excellent so far.

“The biggest thing we hear from our passengers is that they feel really safe with all the bus drivers. I think overall it’s reliability on the route, punctuality, the kindness and respect our drivers showed to all the riders was the most important thing we heard and we appreciate our riders so much,” Taylor said.

ShenGo has two routes, one for the northern and southern parts of the county. It only costs $1 to ride and anyone under the age of 12 can ride for free. People across the county used the buses for a variety of reasons.

“Walmart stands out as the best stop, Food Lion in Strasbourg, grocery stores and doctors where people need to go, but we also have people who are older and they don’t want to stay home all day, so they’ll just jump and roll,” Taylor said.

Throughout ShenGo’s first year, no changes were made to the system, but the commission monitored it to determine what changes could be made to improve it as the second year approached.

“To see which stops were getting a lot of passengers and which stops were getting no passengers, so we are reassessing some stops, maybe adding some more and removing some where no one ever rides” , Taylor said.

ShenGo is funded by a demonstration grant which will sustain it until June 2023, this is the second grant the program has received.

The regional commission and its other local partners will apply for another type of grant to receive a mix of federal and state funds to operate the system and keep it running for years to come.

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