TransLink announces record ridership in 2017

Photo by Chandra Bodalia

TRANSLINK on Thursday released its final ridership numbers for 2017, with figures showing transit use reaching an all-time high in Metro Vancouver.

In 2017, ridership in Metro Vancouver reached a record-breaking 407 million boardings, a 5.7 per cent increase over 2016. The number of journeys in the system reached 247 million, another record and an increase of 5.8 per cent over the year before.

TransLink claimed that this growth demonstrated how investments like the Evergreen Extension and the significant boost to transit service as part of the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision is continuing to make transit the preferred option for more people in the region.

Ridership grew across all modes except West Coast Express, which experienced a drop of 5.5 per cent, as some customers found the new Evergreen Extension more convenient for their needs. On HandyDART, 1.25 million trips were provided in 2017, up two per cent from the year before.


Year / Boardings (million) / % change

* 2017 / 406.84 / 5.7%

* 2016 / 384.3 / 4.5%


Boardings and % change by mode in 2017

* Bus: 247 / 3.2%

* Expo / Millennium lines: 105 / 12%

* Canada Line: 46 / 6.3%

* West Coast Express: 2.32 / -5.5%

* SeaBus: 5.84 / 7.3%


The significant ridership boost is driven partly by the growth of economic activity in Metro Vancouver, which was Canada’s fastest-growing metropolitan economy in 2017 and is experiencing its lowest unemployment rates since the 2007-2008 economic down turn, said TransLink.

Metro Vancouver’s sustained investments in rapid transit over the last 30 years – including the Millennium and Canada lines – have created a record of ridership increases that are without peer in Canada. No major urban centre has seen as great a shift in people choosing transit as their mode of choice.

In order to maintain our region’s track record of livability and prosperity, advancing projects like the Broadway Extension and the Surrey LRT in timely fashion is crucial, claimed TransLink.

Kevin Desmond, CEO, TransLink, said: “Past investments in transit infrastructure are paying dividends as we see the record-breaking ridership and the rapid growth in transit as the preferred option for commuters. It’s a great trajectory, and with demand for transit still running high, it’s imperative that we continue investing and adding service, so we can deliver service that is reliable, convenient and reduces crowding for our customers.”

Richard Stewart, Mayor, City of Coquitlam, said: “The opening of the Evergreen Extension just over a year ago has been a game-changer for our community. This continued investment in public transit, as an option for residents and commuters, is vital to maintaining the livability of the region.”

Richard Walton, Mayor, District of North Vancouver and Vice-Chair, Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation, said: “It is encouraging to see regional transit usage continue to rise. Better transit builds stronger and more resilient communities.”


Quick Facts:


* Weekday transit ridership in the Tri-Cities increased more than 25% by the end of 2017, in large part due to the opening of the Evergreen Extension in December 2016.

* October 2017 was the busiest month system-wide, with 36.13 million boardings.

* February was quietest, with 29.96 million boardings.

* The busiest month for Canada Line and SeaBus, well-used by tourists, was July with 4.19 million and .62 million boardings respectively.

(A Boarding represents each time a passenger enters a fare paid zone using Compass fare media or other proof of payment. Transfers are counted as additional boardings.

(​​A Journey is considered to be a complete transit trip using Compass or other proof of payment, regardless of the number of transfers.)