Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Metro Vancouver transit ridership sets record in 2019. Fraser Highway Express fastest growing route.

2019 was a record-setting year for transit ridership in Metro Vancouver and in the South of Fraser as is evident in TransLink’s 2019 Transit Service Performance Review.

The top five routes in the South of Fraser serve the Scott Road, King George Boulevard, Fraser Highway, and Guildford-Whalley corridors. The ridership of these tops routes are similar to the top routes in Burnaby/New Westminster.

There has been a myth that people in Surrey, Langley, and White Rock don’t want to take transit. The numbers show that this is a myth. When fast and frequent transit service is provided, ridership significantly increases in South of Fraser communities.

One of the success stories has been the introduction of express and local bus service along the same corridors. This combination of service increases transit ridership.

The first example of this is King George Boulevard with the R1(former 96) and 321. The second example of this is the new 503 and 502 service along the Fraser Highway corridor.

In the fall of 2019, the 503 was upgraded to the Fraser Highway Express. This resulted in a 120% year-over-year increase in boardings, making the 503 the fastest growing bus route in Metro Vancouver. Even with the rapid growth of ridership on the Fraser Highway Express, ridership also increased year-over-year for the local service 502 route.

In Langley, transit routes continued to see increasing ridership in 2019. The following table shows the change in ridership for Langley-focused routes:

Route 2018 2019 Percent Change
502 3,176,000 3,209,000 1%
501 1,521,000 1,799,000 18%
503 740,000 1,627,000 120%
555 1,172,000 1,428,000 22%
531 648,000 752,000 16%
595 449,000 629,000 40%
562 305,000 332,000 9%
372 144,000 194,000 35%
560/561 130,000 139,000 7%
509 96,000 104,000 8%
563 83,000 86,000 4%
564 53,000 63,000 19%

Transit ridership is currently around 50% of 2019 levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While 2019 might seem like a different era, ridership numbers show that there is a demand for transit service in the South of Fraser.

COVID-19 has muted that demand today, but when a cure is found, it is good to know that we will have a transit system available to handle new ridership demands.


Nathan Davidowicz said...

Yes people do want to take Transit. But no proper plan for bus services south of the Fraser. On Demand Transit could replace many of the mini Community Shuttle bus route. Need way more Express buses on existing and new routes as the mode split is very low and has not increased in 10 years. How many people read this blog?

Nathan Davidowicz said...

if you add both 502 and 503 the increase is only about 25%.
Need a vastly improved network of Express and Local buses. Need to replace most mini Community Shuttle buses with On Demand Transit ( DART DRT) If Langleys wants better bus service do your own reports as TransLink is so far behind. The mode split is so low south of the Fraser that we need at least 25% increase for the next 5 years to catch up.