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Metro Vancouver Leads Canada and the US in Transit Ridership Growth

March 28, 2018

TransLink first in ridership growth by more than two per cent

VANCOUVER, BC —Metro Vancouver saw more public transit ridership growth than anywhere else in Canada and the US last year according to latest statistics from the American Public Transit Association. Our region has experienced a 5.7 per cent year over year growth in the number of boardings on the system.

Metro Vancouver is among only four urban areas with populations over one-million which saw ridership growth last year:

  1. Metro Vancouver: 5.7%
  2. Phoenix, AZ: 3.5%
  3. Seattle, WA: 2.3%
  4. Montreal, QC: 2.3%

We can attribute this to a number of factors including economic growth in the region, high gas prices and the addition of the Millennium Line Evergreen Extension. Improvements underway as part of Phase One of the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision include:

  • A 10 per cent increase in bus and a 15 per cent increase in HandyDART service.
  • More frequent service on Expo, Millennium and Canada Lines.
  • SeaBus service at least every 15 minutes all day, every day.

Phase One funding allowed us to add 210,000 bus service hours in 2017. We added new bus service to Silver Valley in Maple Ridge and Clayton Heights and Morgan Creek in Surrey. One-third of the new service hours targeted overcrowded bus routes. Many of these routes saw dramatic ridership increases such as:

  • 96 B-Line (Guildford Exchange/Newton Exchange): 17%.
  • 5 (Robson/Downtown): 20%.
  • 407 (Gilbert/Bridgeport): 14%.

Customers can look forward to even more new service in the years to come thanks to other Phase One improvements including the accelerated delivery of 80 new SkyTrain and Canada Line cars beginning late this year, the addition of four new B-Line routes in 2019 and delivery of a new SeaBus vessel in early 2019. Construction of the Millennium Line Broadway Extension and light rail in Surrey as part of Phase Two will put public transit in reach of thousands more as the Metro Vancouver region continues to grow.


Kevin Desmond, TransLink CEO –

“More people are taking transit in Metro Vancouver than ever before. This data shows that when we invest in public transit, ridership rises. I’m so glad we were able to add this new service at a time when demand is surging. We are ready to build upon the success we’re seeing with the rollout of Phase Two of the Vision and keep this momentum alive.”

Derek Corrigan, Mayor of the City of Burnaby –

“It’s encouraging to see people in my city and around the region taking advantage of this new level of transit service available as the 10-Year Vision continues to roll out. Our region is hungry for more transit connections and capacity. The execution of Phase Two of the Vision and the improvements it will bring can keep this trend going.”

Quick Facts

Year Boardings (million)
% change
 2017  406.84 5.7%
 2016  384.3 4.5%
Boardings by mode in 2017

 Bus 247
 Expo/Millennium Lines
105 12%
 Canada Line
46 6.3%
 West Coast Express
2.32 (5.5%)
 SeaBus 5.84 7.3%
 HandyDART 1.23 1.8%

Learn More:

TransLink 10-Year Investment Plan

Media contact:

TransLink Media Relations

C: (778) 375-7788


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