The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
VRE ridership up and down
The Virginia Railway Express reported a 1 percent drop in daily ridership between May 2011 and this year.
But May’s figures are better than April’s. And, for the year, ridership is up 6.6 percent. One record ridership day has been set this year—in April. All the others were set in 2011.
This is the time of year when ridership typically drops each month, according to outgoing CEO Dale Zehner’s report, a trend that usually continues until September.
Zehner says in the report that the May increase in VRE riders “may indicate that higher gas prices and highway congestion has more influence than the reduction in transit benefits.”
The on-time performance for Fredericksburg trains is still over 95 percent, though long delays Monday night had VRE later issuing free tickets. Switch issues at Union Station and L’Enfant that caused significant delays and crowded stations Monday night, according to an email by Chris Henry, VRE’s director of rail operations.
“Per policy riders are entitled to a free ride certificate for any train that is 30 or more minutes late,” VRE sent in an email.
The VRE Operations Board meets Friday in what is supposed to be Zehner’s final meeting as he is scheduled to step down in July. The board is still interviewing a small group of finalists for the CEO position.