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TransLink on track for record-breaking ridership

July 25, 2017

Ridership growth leads North America; follows Mayors’ 10-Year Vision investments to improve service

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. — Ridership on TransLink’s bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express services grew by 5.7 per cent in the first six months of 2017, compared to the same period last year.

In total, there were more than 200 million boardings in the first six months of 2017.

According to the American Public Transportation Association First Quarter 2017 Public Transportation Ridership Report, many transit agencies in both Canada and the United States experienced a ridership decline in the first quarter of 2017. In comparison, TransLink saw more than 1.26 million average weekday boardings – a 6.3 per cent increase over the same quarter in 2016. TransLink has the highest percentage of ridership growth rate in the first quarter of this year among transit agencies with average weekday boardings of one million or more.

This surge in overall transit ridership at TransLink follows a 4.5 per cent increase for all of 2016 – a year the agency posted an all-time-high of 384.8 million boardings.The strong performance of the Metro Vancouver economy and rising fuel prices, together with the addition of new transit services guided by the 10-Year Vision, resulted in this ridership boost. TransLink estimates service improvement accounts for as much as one-third of this ridership growth.

Since the beginning of January 2017, TransLink has added 89,000 bus service hours, starting with a focus on the region’s most congested areas, as well as increased service frequency on SkyTrain and SeaBus. This coming September, TransLink will roll out the largest bus service boost of the year, which includes the addition of new bus routes.

Decisions about where to target these service increases are informed by data collection and analysis work performed by TransLink throughout the year. This week, TransLink is releasing its 2016 Transit Service Performance Review, a comprehensive review of ridership and service productivity for bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express. The data from this year’s report will help us define specific service improvements as part of delivering the next phase of the 10-Year Vision.


Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

“Supporting the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision for transit in Metro Vancouver is a priority for our government. As ridership in the region continues to grow, so does the need to invest in transportation that meets the needs of the travelling public, while reducing congestion and increasing capacity. Our government is committed to working with TransLink and the Mayors’ Council on important transit improvements that deliver the services people rely on.”

Kevin Desmond, CEO of TransLink

On ridership:

“This increase in ridership is great news, and builds on the growth we saw in 2016. It’s great to see people taking advantage of new service we started putting on the road in January. I’m thrilled we’re in a position to continue adding even more transit service in coming months, including in September one of our largest single increases to bus service since the run-up to the 2010 Winter Games.”

On Transit Service Performance Review:

“The Transit Service Performance Review helps us identify opportunities to reduce overcrowding, improve performance and reliability, and meet the needs of our customers as the region continues to grow. Just as last year’s Transit Service Performance Review informed the priorities in Phase One of the 10-Year Vision which are already being put into action to improve service and reduce overcrowding, the data from this year’s report will help us define specific projects as part of Phase Two.”

Fast Facts:

Annual ridership totals (boardings) system-wide:

  • 2015 – 363 million
  • 2016 – 385 million
  • YTD – 200 million (Jan-June 2017)

 Ridership increase by mode for first half of 2017 vs. same period last year:

  • Bus: 122.5 million boardings (+ 2.5 per cent)
  • SkyTrain: 74 million boardings (+ 11.9 per cent)
  • SeaBus: 2.7 million boardings (+ 5.7 per cent)
  • West Coast Express: 1.2 million boardings (- 6.1 per cent)

2016 ridership highlights:

  • Total journeys across the system increased 4.5 per cent to 233 million;
  • System-wide boardings increased 4.5 per cent to a record 384.8 million;
  • Bus boardings increased 4.6 per cent;
  • SkyTrain boardings grew by 4.5 per cent (Expo, Millennium and Canada lines); and
  • South of Fraser led all Metro Vancouver sub-regions in bus ridership growth – seeing a 10 per cent increase over the previous year. Much of this growth can be attributed to increased ridership of the 96 B-Line.

Learn More:

2016 Transit Service Performance Review

Media contact:

TransLink Media Relations

C: (778) 375-7788

E: media@translink.ca

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