LYNCHBURG, Va. -

More people are taking the bus in Lynchburg.

The Greater Lynchburg Transit Company (GLTC) has added 200,000 new riders over the last year, a roughly 8% increase.

The good news comes on the heals of another milestone for the organization: the opening of a multimillion dollar transfer center on Kemper Street in June.

 "I love it," said Mike Rosser, a GLTC bus passenger.  "It's better than where it was and there are more connections down here."

The Greater Lynchburg Transit Company spent several years planning and building it's new transfer station.  It replaced a much smaller facility that was located in the parking lot of The Plaza shopping center.

Unlike the old station, the new one has indoor seating with bathrooms and a ticket window, and a large covered area for riders to sit and wait for buses.

"It's a little bit more comfortable now," said Jamal Smith, a GLTC passenger.  "You get a lot more information from being right here."

The improved bus station is designed to increase ridership.  GLTC strategically located the facility in the same parking lot as the Kemper Street train station, to make it easy for passengers to transfer from one mode of transportation to another.

"We're trying to bring it all together, so that people are comfortable and can easily transfer from one mode to the next," said Karen Walton, GLTC's general manager.

Walton believes the new station is ideal for the city's large number of college students.

Thanks to a new contract with Central Virginia Community College, students on that campus can ride the bus for free.  Similar deals are in place with Lynchburg College and Liberty University.

The schools provide a key source of funding for the bus company, which has allowed them to expand several routes in the city and surrounding counties.

Walton hopes the growth will continue.

"One little piece at a time," Walton said.  "As soon as we get the recent changes done, we'll move ahead and see what's next."

One thing Walton hopes to add back soon is Sunday service, which was cut in 2011 when the bus company was having money problems.

Nightime service was recently restored and Walton hopes the full weekend routes will return within the next one to two years.