There is no question that the 99 B-Line is the busiest and most congested public transit bus routes in Metro Vancouver.
It is the preeminent “school bus” to UBC and passes through Central Broadway, the second largest employment area in the region outside of the downtown Vancouver peninsula. Crowding at the westbound bus stop at the 99 B-Line’s terminus at Commercial-Broadway Station even led TransLink to develop a passenger boarding queuing system, for trial purposes only.
But how does the crowded bus ride translate into numbers?
When the service was first launched in 1996, it carried just 12,000 passengers per day and reached Lougheed Mall in Burnaby. In 2002, upon the completion of the SkyTrain Millennium Line, the route was rejigged with the terminus relocated to Commercial-Broadway Station.
Nearly two decades later, the 99 B-Line now outranks every bus route in every performance indicator, except for average capacity utilization and peak load factor.
It costs $0.55 to run the route per boarded passenger and recovers its own operating costs; it has the lowest operational cost amongst all bus routes. In stark contrast, it costs nearly $4.00 per passenger for some routes in the suburban municipalities, which means significant subsidies are required to sustain the service.
An average of 55,000 boardings are made daily during weekdays and more than 40 articulated buses are placed into service during the 13 kilometre route’s peak hours. However, no data is available on fare evasion, which is likely higher than other routes given that three door boarding is permitted on the buses.
Annual cost to operate the route:
Annual hours the bus is in service (revenue hour):
Cost per boarded passenger:
Average boardings per bus per revenue hour:
Average daily boardings from Monday to Friday:
Average daily boardings on Saturdays:
Average daily boardings on Sundays and holidays:
Average peak passenger load (bi-directional average) per bus:
Peak load factor (vehicle occupancy), with a factor of 1.0 indicating a full bus:
Average capacity utilization (passenger turnover):
Feature Image: Dennis Tsang via Flickr