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Metro Vancouver transit service returning to near-normal levels

Last Updated May 19, 2020 at 11:22 am PDT

FILE - SkyTrain returned to 90-per-cent of its normal service levels Tuesday, May 19, 2020. (NEWS 1130)
Summary

TransLink has bumped up service and issued some reminders about physical distancing on buses

SkyTrain returned to 90 per cent of its normal service levels Tuesday

More trains will be added next week to return to pre-pandemic service levels

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — With more people back to work this week, Metro Vancouver transit services have been increased accordingly.

TransLink has bumped up service levels as the province allows some businesses and services to resume this week, and issued some reminders about physical distancing on buses.

SkyTrain returned to 90-per-cent of its normal service levels Tuesday.

However, Jill Drews, with TransLink, has not heard that passenger counts increased dramatically.

“Anecdotally, ridership doesn’t appear to be much different,” she said. “We’ll have exact numbers of that down the road, as we get through this week and can see some trends.”

More trains will be added next week to return to pre-pandemic service levels, she added, and allowing for easier physical distancing.

As for buses, service has also been increased.

Drews advised commuters to try to travel outside of peak hours to avoid tight quarters on transit, and wear a mask when it’s difficult to maintain physical distancing.

TransLink suspended planned service cuts and took back layoff notices last week. The transit authority had planned to layoff about 1,500 employees and suspend more than 40 more bus routes by May 18 to cope with a lack of ridership and revenue losses totaling $75 million a month.

It reversed those decisions following the release of the province’s restart plan, which calls for a gradual reintroduction of services, with the second phase including transit services.