Monday, January 30, 2023

TransLink ridership continues to rebound

Ridership on Metro Vancouver’s transit system continues to grow. At Thursday’s Mayors’ Council on Regional Transporation meeting, TransLink staff presented their latest ridership statistics.

94% of transit customers are back using the system, though with fewer trips. While people travel to shops, appointments, and recreation at similar levels to 2019, many office workers continue to work from home or partially work from home. This change means fewer trips on the transit system. One of the challenges this creates is lower fare revenue because fewer people are buying monthly passes and instead are paying as they go.

Increases in transit ridership in 2022 compared to historical ridership levels. Select the graphic to enlarge.

People who work in industrial areas in Port Kelly, Campbell Heights, Langley City, and throughout the region could never work from home. Transit usage in these areas has only continued to grow over the last few years.

Percentage change in annual service hours by subregion between April 2020 and January 2023. Select the map to enlarge.

Overcrowding is now a concern on some routes. TransLink will be reallocating service hours from routes with lower ridership recovery to fast-growing routes. This reallocation has resulted in more transit service in the South of Fraser. When TransLink is adjusting service hours, they are doing it in a way to maintain fast and frequent service. For example, they might reduce the frequency on some routes from 8 minutes to 10 minutes. With transit ridership still growing overall, there is only so much reallocation that TransLink can do without impacting the quality of transit service. The region will need stable ongoing funding from the province and federal governments to ensure we can continue to invest in transit service.

Today, Metro Vancouver has the 5th highest number of transit boardings in Canada and the US. To put that into context, Metro Vancouver is the 24th most populous region in Canada and the US.

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