SAN JOSE (KCBS) – There’s a transit mystery currently underway in Santa Clara County.

Where have all the bus riders gone?

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According to local officials, even with the local population booming, ridership on the Valley Transportation Authority transit buses has dropped an estimate 23 percent since 2001.

The decline could be the result of a doubling of fares since the year 2000 and a 9- percent reduction in bus speeds due to traffic congestion.

But officials simply don’t know for sure.

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Because of the decline, the VTA is considering eliminating some of the less popular routes to improve service on crowded buses. The Mercury News calls the plan the “biggest shake up ever in transit service.”

But word of the possible cuts has those who do use the transit system very concerned.

“I really don’t agree (with the cuts),” Abhi told KCBS. “Transportation is something the government provides.”

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A report on the declining ridership will be sent to city leaders across Santa Clara County and a vote from the VTA board on possible cuts is expected in about a year.