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Transportation, Business, Urbanized, News

TransLink by the numbers: Busiest SkyTrain stations and bus routes in 2017

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Kenneth Chan Jun 28, 2018 6:49 pm 2,465

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


Just how busy are Metro Vancouver’s busiest SkyTrain stations and bus routes?

According to TransLink’s data from its 2017 Transit Network Performance Review, the busiest station was Waterfront Station, which had both its Canada Line and Expo Line ridership combined for the first time. This was followed by Commercial-Broadway Station and Burrard Station.

The station with the least ridership was Sea Island Centre, which mainly serves those who work at Vancouver International Airport’s (YVR) facilities and its airlines.

Of special note, ridership at YVR Airport Station – the station that directly serves the airport terminal building – is up significantly by 9.2%, which could possibly be connected to YVR’s staggering year-over-year air passenger growth of 8.4%.

Overall annual ridership at Metrotown Station still grew by 6.4%, despite the significant disruptions to station accessibility due to construction for the extensive station renovation project.

Boardings at Lougheed Town Centre actually fell by 11% with the opening of the Evergreen Extension, as passengers no longer need to make a transfer between the modes of bus and train. The extension has provided a one-train ride to the communities in the Tri-Cities.

Unsurprisingly, the busiest stretch of SkyTrain track is the span between Stadium-Chinatown Station and Commercial-Broadway Station.

As for the bus services, the route with the most boardings is, of course, the 99 B-Line with  a record 17.421 million annual boardings – up from 17.033 million in 2016. It is also by far the most overcrowded route, with overcrowding lasting for about a third of its operational hours.

The region’s busiest bus route has 4,355 times more annual boardings than the No. 259, the route with the least ridership. Running along the Sea-to-Sky Highway between Horseshoe Bay and Lions Bay on weekdays only, the No. 259 averages just 20 boardings per day.

Moreover, eight of the 10 busiest bus routes in the region at least run through a part of the city of Vancouver. After the 99 B-Line, the No. 25 Brentwood Station/UBC and the No. 41 Joyce-Collingwood Station/UBC routes are respectively the second and third busiest routes in Metro Vancouver.

Here are some further breakdowns of 2017 ridership and travel patterns:

10 busiest SkyTrain stations (average weekday boardings)

  1. Waterfront (Canada, Expo): 37,500 boardings
  2. Commercial–Broadway (Expo, Millennium): 24,900 boardings
  3. Burrard (Expo): 23,000 boardings
  4. Granville (Expo): 20,600 boardings
  5. Metrotown (Expo): 19,900 boardings
  6. Vancouver City Centre (Canada): 18,400 boardings
  7. Stadium–Chinatown (Expo): 16,200 boardings
  8. New Westminster (Expo): 14,800 boardings
  9. Broadway–City Hall (Canada): 14,500 boardings
  10. Main Street–Science World (Expo): 14,300 boardings

10 least busiest SkyTrain stations (average weekday boardings)

  1. Sea Island Centre (Canada): 800 boardings
  2. Lake City Way (Millennium): 1,200 boardings
  3. Inlet Centre (Millennium): 1,900 boardings
  4. Moody Centre (Millennium): 2,000 boardings
  5. Sperling-Burnaby Lake (Millennium): 2,100 boardings
  6. Templeton (Canada): 2,600 boardings
  7. Lafarge Lake-Douglas (Millennium): 2,700 boardings
  8. Sapperton (Expo): 3,100 boardings
  9. Holdom (Millennium): 3,200 boardings
  10. VCC-Clark (Millennium): 3,400 boardings

5 busiest Expo Line stations (average weekday boardings)

  1. Waterfront (Canada, Expo): 37,500 boardings
  2. Commercial–Broadway (Expo, Millennium): 24,900 boardings
  3. Burrard: 23,000 boardings
  4. Granville: 20,600 boardings
  5. Metrotown: 19,900 boardings

5 busiest Millennium Line stations (average weekday boardings)

  1. Commercial–Broadway (Expo, Millennium): 24,900 boardings
  2. Lougheed Town Centre: 12,700 boardings
  3. Production Way-University: 6,200 boardings
  4. Brentwood Town Centre: 5,500 boardings
  5. Coquitlam Central: 4,000 boardings

5 busiest Canada Line stations (average weekday boardings)

  1. Waterfront Station (Canada, Expo): 37,500 boardings
  2. Vancouver City Centre: 18,400 boardings
  3. Broadway-City Hall: 14,500 boardings
  4. Richmond-Brighouse: 11,700 boardings
  5. Bridgeport: 11,100 boardings

5 busiest station spans of SkyTrain (average weekday passenger volumes)

  1. Main Street-Science World to Commercial-Broadway (Expo): 140,000
  2. Stadium-Chinatown to Main Street-Science World (Expo): 135,000
  3. Commercial-Broadway to Nanaimo (Expo): 126,600
  4. Nanaimo to 29th Avenue (Expo): 122,700
  5. 29th Avenue to Joyce-Collingwood (Expo): 118,500

Station ridership on the West Coast Express (average weekday boardings)

  1. Waterfront (Vancouver): 4,300
  2. Coquitlam Central (Coquitlam): 1,000
  3. Moody Centre (Port Moody): 1,000
  4. Port Coquitlam (Port Coquitlam): 1,000
  5. Maple Meadows (Maple Ridge): 600
  6. Mission City (Mission): 500
  7. Port Hane (Maple Ridge): 400
  8. Pitt Meadows (Pitt Meadows): 400

10 busiest bus routes (annual ridership)

  1. 99 B-Line UBC/Commercial–Broadway Station: 17,421,000 boardings
  2. 41 UBC/Joyce–Collingwood Station: 8,918,000 boardings
  3. 20 Downtown/Victoria: 8,630,000 boardings
  4. 49 UBC/Metrotown Station: 8,034,000 boardings
  5. 25 UBC/Brentwood Town Centre Station: 7,642,000 boardings
  6. 16 Arbutus/29th Avenue Station: Vancouver/UBC 7,549,000 boardings
  7. 9 UBC/Alma/Granville/Commercial–Broadway Station/Boundary: 7,273,000 boardings
  8. 3 Main/Downtown: 6,724,000 boardings
  9. 106 New Westminster Station/Edmonds Station: 6,212,000 boardings
  10. 410 22nd Street Station/Queensborough/Railway: 6,211,000 boardings

10 least busiest routes (annual ridership)

  1. 259 Lions Bay/Horseshoe Bay: 4,000 boardings
  2. 606 Ladner Ring: 7,000 boardings
  3. 242 Lynn Valley/Vancouver: 11,000 boardings
  4. N15 Downtown/Cambie Night Bus: 15,000 boardings
  5. 741 Anderson Creek/Haney Place: 15,000 boardings
  6. N22 Downtown/Macdonald Night Bus: 16,000 boardings
  7. 703 Rock Ridge/Haney Place: 16,000 boardings
  8. C48 Thronhill/Haney Place: 17,000 boardings
  9. C89 Boundary Bay/South Delta Rec Centre: 19,000 boardings
  10. C87 East Ladner/Ladner Exchange: 20,000 boardings

10 most overcrowded bus routes (annual operational hours with overcrowding)

  1. 99 B-Line UBC/Commercial-Broadway Station: 39,500 hours (31% of the time)
  2. 25 Brentwood Station/UBC: 17,800 hours (19% of the time)
  3. 41 Joyce-Collingwood Station Station/Crown/UBC: 17,200 hours (17% of the time)
  4. 49 Metrotown Station/Dunbar/UBC: 15,800 hours (18% of the time)
  5. 95 Burrard Station/SFU B-Line: 11,900 hours (14% of the time)
  6. 100 22nd Street Station/Marpole Loop: 9,900 hours (18% of the time)
  7. 319 Scott Road Station/Newton Exchange: 9,400 hours (16% of the time)
  8. 410 22nd Street Station/Queensborough/Railway: 8,900 hours (8% of the time)
  9. 250 Horseshoe Bay/Dundarave/Vancouver: 8,500 hours (14% of the time)
  10. 16 29th Avenue Station/Arbutus: 8,400 hours (8% of the time)
See also

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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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