TRANSLINK says that ridership growth in June 2018 shows transit is continuing to attract new riders, underscoring the need for projects and service increases coming as part of Phase Two of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision.
Boardings have increased by 6.1% year over year. If this trend continues, 2018 will break last year’s total boardings record of 407 million.
Ridership grew across all modes:
· Bus: Average weekday boardings are up 8% year over year, while year to date growth is 6.5%.
· SkyTrain: Expo / Millennium Line average weekday boardings are up 6.1%, which is in line with growth year to date. While average weekday boardings for Canada Line increased by 5.8% year over year and growth year to date is at 5.1%.
· SeaBus: Average weekday boardings increased by 5.4 per cent year over year and 6.3% year to date. This is due in part to frequency increases in the evening launched a year ago.
· West Coast Express: Average weekday boardings are up 7.6% year over year and 6% for the year to date. This suggests ridership is rebounding after a drop following the opening of the Evergreen Millennium Line Extension.
Growth is being driven by the substantial addition of new service as part of Phase One, steadily high gas prices and strong employment growth, says TransLink.
The focus is now shifting to Phase Two of the Vision, according to TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond.
“The Phase Two Investment Plan was approved by TransLink’s Board and the Mayors’ Council which gives us the mandate to roll out the biggest package of transportation improvements in Metro Vancouver history. These latest numbers show the region needs this investment if we’re going to avoid major congestion,” says Desmond.
Improvements funded by the Phase Two plan include:
· Construction of light rail in Surrey, the Millennium Line Broadway Extension in Vancouver and planning and design for Surrey-Langley rapid transit.
· New bus service in Vancouver, Surrey and North Vancouver as well as B-Lines in Richmond and Surrey.
· Addition of new buses and SkyTrain cars to increase frequency and capacity.