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Transportation, Business, Urbanized, News

TransLink by the numbers: Bus, SeaBus, and SkyTrain ridership in 2017

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Kenneth Chan Jun 26, 2018 8:42 pm 2,361

‘TransLink 2017 By The Numbers’ is a four-part Daily Hive series on the latest annual ridership data on Metro Vancouver’s public transit system. This is the first part.


Data for transit ridership levels and travel patterns of all TransLink services – including the usage data for every single bus stop in Metro Vancouver – are now online for the public to mine through.

Last week, the public transit authority launched a new dynamic online dashboard tool and interactive mapping tool that displays ridership data like never before. Previously, data for the annual Transit Network Performance Review was presented in PDF documents over hundreds of pages.

The ridership data is collected from a number of ways, such as automated passenger counts on buses and turnstiles at SeaBus terminals. But, of course, the primary source is from the Compass data from all the taps made on bus card readers and SkyTrain and SeaBus fare gates.

According to TransLink, overcrowding has fallen by 13% on 18 overcrowded routes after services were improved from the Phase One plan starting in 2016. On these same routes, ridership has also increased by 7%.

For all three SkyTrain lines, average weekday boardings climbed upwards by 12.5% in fall 2017 after capacity increases, with a 2.5% capacity increase on the Expo and Millennium lines and an 11% increase on the Canada Line.

However, ridership on the West Coast Express fell by 5.5% last year as some passengers in Port Moody and Coquitlam switched from the commuter rail service to SkyTrain after the opening of the Millennium Line Evergreen Extension. However, ridership increased by 17% in Mission and 5% in Maple Ridge from passengers taking the commuter rail to connect with SkyTrain.

As for SeaBus, weekday evening ridership has risen by 34% and Saturday morning ridership has increased by 35% from the service frequency increase to every 15 minutes during most hours of the day.

Here is a full breakdown of 2017 system ridership across all four modes of public transit in Metro Vancouver:

Bus

  • Total number of bus routes: 219
  • Average weekday boardings: 895,380
  • Average Saturday boardings: 565,140
  • Average Sunday/holiday boardings: 448,560
  • Highest weekday ridership: 99 B-Line – UBC/Commercial-Broadway (average 56,850 boardings per weekday)
  • Lowest weekday ridership: 259 Lions Bay/Horseshoe Bay (average 20 boardings per weekday)
  • Highest operational cost per boarding: 609 Tsawwassen First Nation/South Delta ($21.92 per boarding)
  • Lowest operational cost per boarding: 99 B-Line – UBC/Commercial-Broadway ($0.79 per boarding)
  • Highest annual operational cost: 99 B-Line – UBC/Commercial-Broadway ($13.69 million)
  • Lowest annual operational cost: 242 Lynn Valley/Vancouver ($57,000)
  • Fastest average speed: 555 Carvolth Exchange/Lougheed Station (69 km/hr)
  • Slowest average speed: 6 Davie/Downtown (9.3 km/hr)
  • Longest one-way route length: 352 Ocean Park/Bridgeport Station (44.8 km)
  • Shortest one-way route length: 6 Davie/Downtown (3 km)

Rail

  • Line length:
    • Canada Line: 19 km
    • Expo/Millennium lines: 60 km
    • West Coast Express: 68 km
  • Number of stations:
    • Canada Line: 16
    • Expo/Millennium lines: 38
    • West Coast Express: 8
  • Average speed:
    • Canada Line: 32 km/hr
    • Expo/Millennium lines: 40 km/hr
    • West Coast Express: 55 km/hr
  • Total annual boardings:
    • Canada Line: 46,253,000
    • Expo/Millennium lines: 105,117,000
    • West Coast Express: 2,323,000
  • Year-over-year capacity change:
    • Canada Line: 3%
    • Expo/Millennium lines: 23.4%
    • West Coast Express: -2.9%
  • Operational cost per capacity per km:
    • Canada Line: $0.10 per passenger per km
    • Expo/Millennium lines: $0.03 per passenger per km
    • West Coast Express: $0.09 per passenger per km
  • Operational cost per boarding:
    • Canada Line: $2.47 per boarding
    • Expo/Millennium lines: $1.56 per boarding
    • West Coast Express: $8.02 per boarding
  • Average weekday boardings:
    • Canada Line: 140,000
    • Expo/Millennium lines: 328,000
    • West Coast Express: 9,000
  • Average Saturday boardings:
    • Canada Line: 108,000
    • Expo/Millennium lines: 227,000
    • West Coast Express: 0
  • Average Sunday/holiday boardings: 
    • Canada Line: 88,000
    • Expo/Millennium lines: 176,000
    • West Coast Express: 0
  • Annual operating cost:
    • Canada Line: $114,238,000 ($6 million per km)
    • Expo/Millennium lines: $163,906,000 ($2.73 million per km)
    • West Coast Express: $18,621,000 ($274,000 per km)

SeaBus

  • One-way route length: 3.2 km
  • Average speed: 21.3 km/hr
  • Total annual boardings: 6,343,000
  • Average weekday boardings: 18,740
  • Average Saturday boardings: 16,300
  • Average Sunday/holiday boardings: 12,890
  • Average boardings per hour: 525
  • Average passenger load: 126
  • Average peak load factor: 33%
  • Annual operating cost: $9,719,000
  • Cost per boarded passenger: $1.53
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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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