Monday, April 20, 2015

Comparing Seattle and Vancouver Transit Performance

Last week, I posted about how the transit service that TransLink delivers to Metro Vancouver is normally compared to cities with some of the best transit systems in the world. I thought it would be useful to see how our transit service compares to comparable regions closer to home. Last week, I compared our transit system to Portland’s system. Today, I thought I’d share how TransLink compares to King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit in Seattle and Puget Sound.

Transit service in Seattle is provided by multiple transit agencies. In King County, home of Seattle, county-wide bus service and streetcar service is provided by Metro Transit. Light rail and commuter rail service is provided by Sound Transit. Sound Transit provides service in some parts of King County, Pierce County, and Snohomish County.

2014 Bus Ridership Per Capitia. Source: APTA, BC Stats, US Census

Per capita, bus ridership in Metro Vancouver is 1.6 times higher than in King County. Interesting enough, paratransit service per capita ridership is similar. This was also the case in Portland.

Light rail service has only been recently introduced in King County. Metro Vancouver rail ridership is about 10 times higher per capita than Sound Transit’s Central Link light rail service.

2014 Rail Ridership Per Capitia. Does not include the South Lake Union Streetcar or Tacoma Link. Source: APTA, BC Stats, and Sound Transit

The Expo Line and Millennium Line has greater reliability and on-time performance than Central Link light rail. TransLink bases its on-time performance on trains arriving within 2 minutes of their scheduled time.

Sound Transit bases their on-time performance on trains arriving within 3 minutes of their scheduled time at a terminus station. Sound Transit may be over-reporting on-time performance as they don’t factor in on-time performance at other stations along light rail lines.

Light Rail and SkyTrain On-Time Performance, and Customer Complaints per Million Boardings. Source: Sound Transit and TransLink

When it comes to customer complaints, the Expo and Millennium Line have happier customers than Sound Transit Central Link light rail customers.

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