Bus ridership is leading the return to transit, says TransLink report
TransLink’s new report details the network’s 2021 ridership trends and reveals that bus ridership is leading the return to transit, as it reaches 71 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in May 2022.
TransLink has announced that it has released a new report which shows that bus ridership is recovering faster than all other transit modes. ‘The Transit Service Performance Review’ (TSPR) details TransLink’s 2021 ridership and reveals that bus ridership bounced back strongest of all transit modes, reaching 62 per cent of pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021.
Bus ridership recovery surpassed the network’s accessible transit service HandyDART (59 per cent), as well as SkyTrain’s Expo and Millennium Lines (57 per cent), the Canada Line and SeaBus (both at 54 per cent), and the West Coast Express (26 per cent). Since then, bus ridership recovery has increased to 71 per cent in May 2022.
“It’s gratifying to see the commitment to transit by the people of Metro Vancouver over the last two difficult years,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn. “Transit has long been at the centre of our communities and will continue to be imperative to Metro Vancouver life, economic growth and tourism.”
With the overall system-wide ridership recovery at 59 per cent at the end of 2021, the report also shows that TransLink has exceeded the average recovery rate of transit systems in Montreal, Toronto, Washington D.C., Chicago and San Francisco. System-wide ridership has continued to grow and is currently at 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
The report has also highlighted the following key 2021 transit trends:
- A total number of 224 million passengers boarded Metro Vancouver’s transit system in 2021
- There were 2.2 million unique customers on TransLink’s system in 2021, equivalent to 84 per cent of Metro Vancouver’s population
- System-wide ridership recovery was greater on weekends than weekdays
- The southeast sub-region (Surrey, Langley, White Rock, North Delta) led ridership recovery for Metro Vancouver, reaching 75 per cent recovery in 2021 – leading to an eight per cent increase in service for the sub-region
- RapidBus routes experienced some of the highest ridership in the region with three routes (R1, R4 and R5) ranking in the top 10 busiest bus routes
- In Autumn 2021, bus ridership accounted for 63 per cent of TransLink’s total ridership
- Bus routes serving industrial areas recovered stronger on average than other routes.
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