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Answer Man: Ridership and daylight headlight use redux

December 23, 2018 GMT

Dear Guru: With the changes to the bus schedule at IBM Park & Ride due to its popularity, it made me wonder, what percentage of bus rides on RPT is by Mayo Employees? Since you’re all knowing, what is the average number of people on a Saturday bus or Sunday bus? Sincerely, A Curious Commuter

Dear Curious: Let’s get right to the point here and not dilly-dally. I know you’ve asked for a percentage but I though we’d spice things up with a fraction instead.

About 2/3 of Rochester Public Transit trips are Mayo commuters, according to Nick Lemmer, communications, marketing and outreach for the City of Rochester’s Parking and Transit.


Lemmer also told the Answer Man that weekend boardings average around 500 to 600 people compared to weekday boardings, which average 7,000 to 8,000.

I know my cherished readers don’t normally expect brevity from the Answer Man, so Lemmer helped me out with a couple “bonus” facts for all you public transit and numbers enthusiasts out there.

“It is likely that in the last days of 2018 RPT will see our 2 millionth fixed route boarding of the year — a first for RPT and a huge milestone for annual ridership in Rochester,” Lemmer wrote, noting that last year boarding numbers topped out at 1,837,534.

“That is a 24 percent jump in ridership in just 3 years,” Lemmer concluded.

Daylight headlight use redux

For those of you who can’t get enough of daylight headlight use, Sgt. Troy Christianson of the Minnesota State Patrol had a few things to add to my column from Thursday. For those of you who have already used the paper to line your bird cage, a reader wrote in pointing out that, “Just because it’s between the hours of sunrise and sunset doesn’t mean you don’t need your headlights on.”

Christianson seems to agree on that front. He gave the following response to the Answer Man when asked about daylight headlight use.

“We have been fighting that battle for many years now and I hear about it all the time from people. I have always taught motorists to drive with their headlights on at all times, even during the day, so they can avoid the whole issue of when to have headlights on. Even if you think you have headlights on all the time, you might not. Turn them on manually; then you will know for sure.

Daytime running lights cannot be used in lieu of actual headlights during the times that actual headlights are required to be on. During those required times of headlights, all the other lights also are required (e.g., tail lights, marker lamps, etc.). Those other lights are not always on when the so-called ‘automatic’ lights are on either.”