Monday, July 23, 2018

More people ride TransLink buses per capita than New York City buses

It is no secret that Canadian transit agencies outperform their US counterpart, but it is still surprising to see by how much. Based on information provided by the American Public Transportation Association, I wanted to see how TransLink’s bus ridership compared to other agencies in 2017. Why bus ridership? While rail-based transit gets a lot of attention, buses are how the vast majority of transit riders get around (with the exception of New York City.) Buses are the backbone of the transit network.

When it comes to average weekday bus ridership in 2017, TransLink is comparable to Chicago in absolute numbers.

Average weekday bus ridership, largest bus transit agencies in Canada and US in 2017. Select chart to enlarge.

When looking at average weekday bus ridership per capita in 2017, Canada’s three largest regions outperformed US regions. King County, where Seattle is, has a similar population to Metro Vancouver. Metro Vancouver has more than double the bus ridership per capita.

Average weekday bus ridership per capita, largest bus transit agencies in Canada and US in 2017. Select chart to enlarge.

Looking at the recent investments made because of TransLink’s 10-Year Vision, and what will be coming in the next few years, our region is on pace to becoming one of the highest bus ridership per capita transit systems in Canada or the US.

Agency Population (Million) Average Weekday Ridership (Thousands) Average Weekday Ridership - per capita
Toronto - TTC 2.8 1,406.8 0.50
Montreal Island - STM 1.9 917.0 0.48
TransLink 2.5 789.4 0.32
New York 8.6 2,350.7 0.27
Chicago - CTA 3.5 805.5 0.23
Calgary 1.2 254.9 0.21
Seattle 2.1 323.9 0.15
Portland - TriMet 1.5 181.3 0.12
Los Angeles - Metro 10.2 896.4 0.09

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