Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Per capita bus service hours low in South of Fraser despite demand

Last week, I posted about TransLink’s 2014 Bus Service Performance Review. One of the tables in the review was about the amount of annual bus revenue hours dedicated to certain parts of Metro Vancouver. I decided to grab the current 2014 population estimates from BC Stats to see how these hours are divvied up per capita. As a note, I needed to use a report which shows the population split per areas in Delta based on the 2011 census. Delta’s growth has been static over the last several years, so this older information is still accurate for the purpose of this post.

2014 Annual Bus Revenue Hours Per Capita. Average revenue hours per capita 1.46. Select graph to enlarge.

Raw Numbers
Vancouver/UBC: 2.25
North Shore: 2.04
Burnaby/New Westminster: 1.59
Richmond: 1.43
South Delta: 1.26
Northeast Sector: 1.26
South of Fraser: 0.96
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows: 0.83

I’m not surprised that Vancouver/UBC has the highest per capita bus service hours in the region. The 99 B-Line is the busiest bus route in North America. Vancouver and UBC also have the highest transit ridership in the region. The latest trip survey data put it at 22% for weekday mode share. Interestingly, Burnaby/New Westminster had way less per capita bus annual service hours, but had a 21% transit mode share. This is likely due to the fact that these areas are served by two SkyTrain lines.

I’m sure that the high per capita service hours in the North Shore might stick out for some people, but this part of the region has no rapid transit service going through it. All transit service is bus based.

What really sticks out to me is the low per capita service hours in the South of Fraser. The South of Fraser includes Langley, Surrey, White Rock, and North Delta. With only four SkyTrain stations, bus service is the main way people get around on transit in the South of Fraser. Even with low per capita annual bus revenue hours, the South of Fraser still has a 10% transit mode share. This share is similar to the Northeast Sector and North Shore. It appears that there is a huge demand for transit in the South of Fraser, but there is also a lack of funding to provide a much needed increase in service hours.

Due to the rural nature of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, I’m not surprised they have lower per capita annual bus revenue hours.

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