The number of shuttle riders to and from the Washington Town & Country Fair was up this year compared to 2017.
The Fair ran Wednesday, Aug. 1, through Sunday, Aug. 5, at the city fairgrounds.
This year, a total of 16,955 people rode the free shuttles, according to Stephanie Hayes, First Student location safety manager.
There was one less parking lot near the fairgrounds this year.
Last year, the number of riders totalled 15,663 and in 2016, 19,237 people utilized the shuttles.
The shuttles ran from 5 p.m. to midnight Wednesday and Thursday; 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Friday; 2 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday.
The number of riders on Thursday and Friday were down this year about 570 riders each day, but ridership picked up over the weekend.
On Saturday, ridership jumped to 5,511, which is 2,183 more riders than last year’s number of 3,328. Jake Owen was the headline entertainment for the evening.
The shuttles ran from eight area parking lots, including Washington High School, the Bank of Washington commuter lot, Washington West Elementary, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School, Mercy Medical Building North, the Mercy Clinic South campus, First Christian Church and St. Gertrude Church.
Ridership for the five days was as follows:
Wednesday — 2,847, same as last year.
Thursday — 2,582, down from 3,143.
Friday — 3,737, down from 4,325.
Saturday — 5,511, up from 3,328.
Sunday — 2,277, up from 2,020.
The air-conditioned buses ran every 15 to 30 minutes, depending on traffic. Each ride was free of charge, but donations were welcomed.
Hayes thanked her dispatcher, Dawn McBride, and all of the drivers for their time and help.
First Student purchased the bus service from Laidlaw Education Service, which has provided transportation to the Fair since 1992.
The bus service provides transportation for the Washington and a portion of the Union school districts.