Bus ridership remains a critical way for people to get to and from work these days, especially in larger cities. That’s one of the reasons why Bus Ridership Appreciation Week is currently underway.

Ridership took a big hit thanks to the pandemic and is only now back to about 40% of pre-pandemic levels.

Statewide, May 3 has been designated as “Ride for Free Day,” but in Erie, the celebration is a week-long event.

“Starting tomorrow there’s going to be a Facebook photo contest. Obviously, Wednesday is going to be a Free Fare Day. Thursday is Rider Giveaway thanks to Danato’s Pizza, and then Friday, we’ll have an informational session at our intermodal facility and we’ll give away some SeaWolves tickets,” said Peterson.

Peterson added that the reason for the giveaway is simple: If there are no riders, there’s no bus service.