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Transportation, Business, News

10 busiest and most crowded bus routes in Metro Vancouver

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Kenneth Chan Jul 27, 2017 7:54 am 4,371

Public transit ridership in Metro Vancouver reached a new high in 2016 based on TransLink’s latest performance update, which stated bus boardings alone rose by 4.6% throughout the year.

That translates to a record 384.8 million bus boardings, making 2016 the largest growth in bus ridership since 2010.

The report says bus ridership growth was highest in the evenings between 6 and 9 pm daily, with ridership up by 6% on weekdays, 7% on Saturdays, and 5% on Sundays and holidays.

TransLink says the strong growth is likely due to strong economic activity, an increase in transit service, and the full implementation of the Compass Card.

Not surprisingly, the busiest and most crowded route is the 99 B-Line between UBC and Commercial-Broadway Station which accounted for 4.5% of total bus ridership last year. It recorded an average of 55,700 boardings per weekday, and each bus on the route saw an average of 163 boardings per hour of service.

With these ridership levels, the route also happens to be the most efficient as it has an operating cost per boarded passenger of just 60 cents.

The region’s second busiest bus route was the 41 between UBC and Joyce-Collingwood Station, which could be complemented or replaced with a new B-Line bus route over the next two years.

The 41 route saw over nine million passengers, averaged 163 boardings per hour of service per bus, and had an average operating cost of 94 cents.

In contrast, the least busy bus route, ranking at 215th place, is the 259 running between Horseshoe Bay and Lions Bay. It attracts just 4,000 annual boardings, averages nine boardings per hour of service per bus, and is highly subsidized with an operating cost of $11.32 per boarded passenger.

Routes that run in Vancouver dominate the top 20 rankings of the region’s busiest bus routes. In fact, 14 of the top 20 are routes that end at UBC.

But routes that were farthest from Vancouver, including those in the North Shore and south of Fraser communities like Delta and Tsawwassen, were amongst the least busy.

Yesterday, the public transit authority also released its ridership figures for the first half of 2017. All indications so far point to another record breaking year for ridership, potentially exceeding 400 million boardings by the end of the year.

Top 10 busiest bus routes in Metro Vancouver in 2016

Based on annual boardings (operating cost per boarded passenger):

  1. 99 UBC/Broadway Station B-Line: 17,288,000 boardings ($0.60 per passenger)
  2. 41 Joyce Station/Crown/UBC: 9,019,000 boardings ($0.94 per passenger)
  3. 20 Victoria/Downtown: 8,371,000 boardings ($0.93 per passenger)
  4. 49 Metrotown Station/Dunbar/UBC: 7,506,000 boardings ($0.87 per passenger)
  5. 25 Brentwood Station/UBC: 7,409,000 boardings ($1.07 per passenger)
  6. 16 29th Avenue Station/Arbutus: 7,200,000 boardings ($1.19 per passenger)
  7. 9 Boundary/Broadway Station/Granville/Alma: 7,137,000 boardings ($1.12 per passenger)
  8. 135 Burrard Station/SFU: 6,513,000 boardings ($1.08 per passenger)
  9. 3 Marine Drive Station/Main/Downtown: 6,249,000 boardings ($1.01 per passenger)
  10. 106 Metrotown Station/New Westminster Station: 5,948,000 boardings ($0.94 per passenger)

Top 10 most crowded bus routes in Metro Vancouver in 2016

Based on annual revenue hours (ARH) with overcrowding (% of ARH with overcrowding):

  1. 99 UBC/Broadway Station B-Line: 35,000 hours (33%)
  2. 25 Brentwood Station/UBC: 12,000 hours (14%)
  3. 49 Metrotown Station/Dunbar/UBC: 10,000 hours (14%)
  4. 135 Burrard Station/SFU: 9,000 hours (12%)
  5. 319 Scott Road Station/Newton Exchange: 7,000 hours (14%)
  6. 41 Joyce Station/Crown/UBC: 7,000 hours (8%)
  7. 351 Bridgeport Station/Crescent Beach: 5,000 hours (10%)
  8. 502 Surrey Central/Langley Centre: 4,000 hours (10%)
  9. 555 Lougheed Station/Carvolth Exchange: 4,000 hours (30%)
  10. 130 Metrotown Station/Hastings/Kootenay Loop/Phibbs Exchange/Capilano University: 4,000 hours (9%)

Top 10 least busy bus routes in Metro Vancouver in 2016

Based on annual boardings (operating cost per boarded passenger):

  1. 259 North Shore: 4,000 boardings ($11.32 per passenger)
  2. 606 Ladner/South Delta/Tsawwassen: 6,000 boardings ($11.12 per passenger)
  3. C48 Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows: 10,000 boardings ($13.44 per passenger)
  4. 242 North Shore: 12,000 boardings ($3.13)
  5. 608 Ladner/South Delta/Tsawwassen: 12,000 boardings ($4.50 per passenger)
  6. N15 Vancouver/UBC: 14,000 boardings ($6.91 per passenger)
  7. C89 Ladner/South Delta/Tsawwassen: 14,000 boardings ($7.79 per passenger)
  8. C49 Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows: 15,000 boardings ($8.94 per passenger)
  9. C87 Ladner/South Delta/Tsawwassen: 16,000 ($6.87 per passenger)
  10. C84 Ladner/South Delta/Tsawwassen: 17,000 ($7.81 per passenger)
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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