AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- People have now taken more than 12,000 trips on a shuttle service that connects Staunton, Waynesboro, Augusta County, Albemarle County and Charlottesville.

The Afton Express launched in September 2021, and the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission is now declaring a success.

According to a release, the service provides a convenient and affordable way for people to travel between the two regions.

The CSPDC has released its first Afton Express Annual Report, containing performance data, rider impressions and more for the first 16 months of the service.

Additionally, this report marks the service’s transition from a demonstration project to a permanent route of the BRITE Bus transit system.

Paula Melester, the regional planner for the CSPDC says the Afton Express is being ruled into the rural portion of funding the commission receives to operate all of the BRITE Bus routes in the region.

The release says these federal funds are matched by state and local funding partners, including the cities of Staunton, Waynesboro and Charlottesville as well as Albemarle and Augusta counties.

“The Afton Express has seen steady growth in its first full year of service and with expanding service being brought online this year, there is an opportunity to reach more riders,” said Bobby Henderson, the chairman of the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 In February, the Afton Express plans to for offering a schedule expansion to include a fifth trip in the evenings, a new stop in Charlottesville, and servicing the stop at the Staunton Mall on all trips.

To view the report, click here.