TRANSIT ridership in the region surpassed 400 million boardings on Thursday, the highest number ever experienced on the system in a single year and another milestone in a record-breaking period of ridership growth, according to TransLink.
The 400 millionth boarding occurred at the end of Thursday morning’s rush hour, at approximately 9:30 a.m. somewhere in Metro Vancouver.
Between January 1 and November 30, ridership across all modes (bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain, and West Coast Express) was up 6.3% over the same period in 2016. This translates into more than 22 million additional boardings across the transit system compared to 2016. Year-over-year growth of greater than 6.0% is expected to stand when the final numbers are tallied after December 31.
Ridership growth continues to be driven by a combination of increased transit service provided through investments in the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision, strong regional economic growth, high fuel prices and low fare prices, says TransLink.
Boardings: January 1 to November 30
2016: 355.05 M
2017: 377.41 M
Boardings by mode in November
Mode / 2016 / 2017 / Change
* Bus: 20.70 M / 21.27 M / 2.8%
* Expo / Millennium: 8.03 M / 8.93 M / 11.2%
* Canada Line: 3.62 M / 3.79 M / 4.9%
* SeaBus: 41 M / 44 M / 7.2%
* West Coast Express: 23 M / 21 M / 6.6%
All modes: 32.98 M / 34.65 M / 5.1%
In 2017, more than 210,000 service hours were added on the bus system alone, as well as expanded SkyTrain service and more frequent SeaBus.
As long as current economic growth continues, TransLink anticipates ridership to continue to grow in step with continued transit expansion, beginning with the permanent addition of new hours of bus service in 2018 followed by the addition of four new B-Lines in 2019. New SkyTrain cars are scheduled to begin arriving in late 2018, as well as a new SeaBus in 2019, paving the way for further service improvements.
Kevin Desmond, CEO, TransLink, said: “Reaching 400 million boardings on our system is yet another milestone in what has been an incredible two years for transit ridership in our region. The demand is there, and even with all the improvements rolled out in this first year of delivering on the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision, we still have a lot of work ahead to meet that demand.”
Top 10 TransLink milestones in 2017
400 million – number of boardings recorded on the transit system so far this year, a new record for the organization.
1 billion – A tap recorded at about 8:30 a.m., August 23 was the billionth tap since Compass launched.
6.3% – Growth in ridership region-wide between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, 2017.
13% – increase in ridership along the Evergreen Extension since early 2017.
>25% – Growth in weekday transit ridership in Tri Cities since Evergreen launch, comparing September and October 2017 to same months in 2016.
>50% – Growth in weekend transit ridership in Tri Cities since Evergreen launch, comparing September and October 2017 to same months in 2016.
17% – Increase in service hours for SkyTrain.
5% – Increase in service hours for both bus and HandyDART.
15 minutes – SeaBus now has 15-minute service until 9 p.m., every day.
1.2 million – Page views of Transit Alert webpage.