Wednesday, October 14, 2020

TransLink ridership increasing faster in South of Fraser than other parts of the region. Buses leading the way.

When I last posted about transit in July, ridership was about 33% of pre-COVID-19 state of emergency levels. At the most recent Mayors’ Council meeting, TransLink’s CEO provided an update on transit ridership.

Transit ridership is increasing, but ridership restoration has been uneven based on the mode used.

Mode Ridership Return
(% of pre-COVID Ridership)
Bus 43%
Expo/Millennium Line 38%
Canada Line 31%
SeaBus 27%
West Coast Express 17%
HandyDART 35%

Bus ridership has restored further than rail ridership. This makes sense because ridership is also restored back higher in areas that have limited rail service.

Sub-Region Ridership Return
(% of pre-COVID Ridership)
Vancouver/UBC 39%
Burnaby/New West 37%
North Shore 44%
Richmond/Delta 42%
Northeast/Tri-Cities 37%
Ridge Meadows 55%
Surrey/Langley/White Rock 51%

There is some speculation around why ridership is restoring faster in some parts of the region comparted to others, but it is a combination of how many people are still working from home, in post-secondary classes held remotely, and unemployed.

I would also guess that some people have switched from transit to walking and cycling.

For 2021, TransLink is planning for around 70% of pre-COVID-19 ridership. Limited capacity due to COVID-19 safety protocols on transit vehicles necessitate 100% of pre-COVID-19 service hours for transit in 2021.

Work is in-progress to plan for 2022 and beyond for transit as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for sometime.

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