Monday, April 15, 2013

TransLink Ridership Stats

Recently, the American Public Transportation Association released 2012 fourth-quarter and year-end ridership statistics for participating transit agencies which includes TransLink.

TransLink saw annual ridership increase 2.87% in 2008, 3.53% in 2009, and 11.12% in 2010 (thanks in part to the Olympics and the introduction of the Canada Line.) In 2011, TransLink still saw annual ridership increase by 1.89% which means that people who took transit during the Olympic decided to continue to take transit after the games.

In 2011, there was serious talk between the Province and the region about how to increase TransLink’s revenue in order to provide a much needed increase to transit services in the region. This broken down in 2012 and around this time last year, the TransLink Commission denied TransLink’s proposed increase to transit fares and the Province denied TransLink the ability to use new sources of taxation revenue. TransLink was subjected to two performance audit instead. The result was an “optimization” of transit service; cutting service from one area to increase service in another. Even with the service “optimization”, TransLink still saw a 1.95% increase in transit ridership. The largest increase in ridership, at 6.36%, was on Vancouver’s trolley bus network. About 27% of all bus ridership in the region is from the Vancouver trolley bus network.

The only conventional transit service to see a decline in transit ridership was on the SeaBus. In 2011, there was a 6.73% decrease in ridership and in 2012 there was a further 3.19% decrease. I have to wonder why ridership is decreasing on the SeaBus.

While TransLink’s ridership still increased in 2012, 2013 will be the year when TransLink will be implementing the largest “optimization” to its services and I have to wondering if ridership will continue to increase. While 2% growth in ridership is good, in order to actually shift mode share toward transit in the region, a higher annual growth in ridership will be needed. This will only happen once TransLink has the funding to actually add new service in the region.


Kyle Zheng said...

The Seabus ridership might be decreasing because of the new marine drive Lions Gate Bridge improvements, speeding up service for the buses. The seabus is truly extremely slow; with a choice between the 240 and the 230 or 229 + Seabus, times are now faster on the bus especially to Georgia.

Anonymous said...

It may also be that the new seabus has bad windows so the view is not as good for choice riders...although I doubt that is the major reason.