Thursday, July 27, 2017

Double-digit transit ridership growth in the South of Fraser. 96 B-Line ridership mostly responsible.

TransLink released its 2016 Transit Service Performance Review. The review looks at ridership and other performance metrics of the SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express, and bus network.

The 2016 results are good, ridership is up on the SkyTrain and bus network which transports the vast majority of transit customers. Ridership on the West Coast Express and SeaBus declined, though to put that into perspective, more people take the 3 bus along Main Street in Vancouver than the SeaBus. Ridership was up 4.5% across the whole network in 2016.

The fastest growing ridership in Metro Vancouver is in the South of Fraser. Between 2015 and 2016, ridership grew an astounding 10%, and 5% over the last 5 years. No other part of Metro Vancouver has seen this level of growth. The numbers show that there is a pressing need for more transit service in the South of Fraser.

Annual Bus APC Boarding by Sub-Region. Select chart to enlarge.

One of the biggest drivers of ridership growth in the South of Fraser is the 96 B-Line which runs along King George Boulevard and 104 Avenue. In fact, more people took the 96 B-Line last year than the 97 B-Line which was replaced with a SkyTrain extension.

Running along Fraser Highway, the 502 is in the top 10 list for most crowed routes in the region. New to the list is the 555 which runs between Carvolth Exchange in Walnut Grove and Lougheed SkyTrain Station.

Most Crowded Routes (Annual Revenue Hours with Overcrowding). Select chart to enlarge.

In general, areas with the lowest ridership in the region are South Delta and Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows.

When looking at the SkyTrian numbers, I noticed an interesting anomaly. Most SkyTrain stations have a balanced number of people that enter and exit stations during a regular day. This is not the case for King George and Surrey Central stations.

Because of how the bus network functions in the South of Fraser, people use King George Station more in the morning. People get onto the SkyTrain system at this station because it saves around five minutes as opposed to going all the way to Surrey Central Station to get onto the SkyTrain system.

During the afternoon, most people get off the SkyTrain network at Surrey Central because most routes begin at that station. If most people are like me, it is so we don’t get passed up at King George Station.

The busiest SkyTrain stations are located in Downtown Vancouver. Metrotown is also an extremely busy station. The top five busiest stations have between 18,500 and 24,100 weekday entries on average. The least busy SkyTrain station is Sea Island Centre at YVR. It has only 700 weekday entries on average.

With renewed investment in transit service thanks to the funding of phase 1 of the Mayors’ 10-Year Transportation Vision, transit ridership will only continue to grow. TransLink is expecting even higher ridership growth this year compared to 2016. In the first quarter of this year, ridership has already increase 6.3% compared to the same period in 2016.

For more information, please check out the 2016 Transit Service Performance Review page on TransLink’s website.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I suspect your figures pre-date the single zone everywhere policy on the buses, but I suspect that is having a ridership suppressing effect on SeaBus. Taking SeaBus weekdays before 6:30PM requires a 2-zone fare. Taking the 209, 210, 211, 240 or 246 to/from North Vancouver is just a single zone fare. Additionally fare evasion on SeaBus is very low because there are so many SeaBus staff members, transit supervisors, transit security, transit police and NV RCMP officers hanging around Lonsdale Quay.