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TransLink ridership rebounding from pandemic lows

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Jun 10, 2020 at 1:18 pm PDT

FILE - Boardings system-wide last week were 85 per cent higher than the second week of April, which had the lowest ridership levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. (NEWS 1130 photo)
Summary

New figures from TransLink show early signs of ridership recovery on Metro Vancouver's transit system

Boardings system-wide last week were 85 per cent higher than the second week of April

TransLink says system-wide ridership is still low compared to pre-pandemic levels

NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS 1130) — New figures from TransLink on Wednesday show early signs of ridership recovery on Metro Vancouver’s transit system.

Boardings system-wide last week were 85 per cent higher than the second week of April, which had the lowest ridership levels during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m very pleased to see our customers gradually returning to the transit system,” TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond says in a release.

“We’ve worked hard to ensure our customers have confidence in transit by developing the Safe Operating Action Plan, which keeps our services as safe and reliable as possible.”

The plan increased cleaning and sanitizing of transit vehicles and hubs, as well as service levels and created more space between customers where possible, while recommending they all wear non-medical masks.

TransLink announced in April it was losing $75 million a month due to low ridership during the pandemic. Then in May, it suspended planned service cuts to more than 40 bus routes and took back layoff notices to 1,500 employees.

While ridership has been gradually increasing, TransLink says system-wide ridership is still low compared to pre-pandemic levels.

System-wide boardings are currently at around 33 per cent of the levels they were at last year, says TransLink.

Boardings:

  • April 5-11 saw 1,396,000;
  • April 12-18 saw 1,467,000, up five per cent;
  • April 19-25 saw 1,548,000, up 11 per cent;
  • April 26 to May 2 saw 1,580,000, up 13 per cent;
  • May 3-9 saw 1,683,000, up 21 per cent;
  • May 10-16 saw 1,726,000, up 24 per cent;
  • May 17-23 saw 1,876,000, up 34 per cent;
  • May 24-30 saw 2,219,000, up 59 per cent;
  • May 31 to June 6 saw 2,578,000, up 85 per cent.

The West Coast Express saw the largest increase in boardings, going from 2,000 during Aporil 5-11 to 6,000 during May 31 to June 5 — a 200 per cent jump.

SeaBus boardings were up 130 per cent during the same period, while the Canada Line saw a 103-per-cent bump. Expo-Millenium Line boardings were up 87 per cent, buses were up 81, while HandyDart increased 56.