As a health safety measure to help accommodate growing ridership, TransLink announced Friday SeaBus frequencies will be increased to pre-pandemic levels during most service hours.
Starting next week, ferries will depart every 15 minutes from 7:15 am to 9 pm on weekdays and 9:15 am to 9 pm on weekends. This is up from the current non-peak frequencies of every 30 minutes.
- See also:
Frequencies of every 15 minutes during peak hours began earlier this month, but they are still down from the pre-pandemic service of every 10 minutes. A holiday schedule will be in effect for BC Day.
The public transit authority says the doubled frequency for sailings will provide more capacity for growing passenger volumes and allow for more space for some physical distancing.
Ridership on SeaBus has tripled since the pandemic low in early April, with boardings now at 25% of normal levels. But with the economy continuing to reopen and as summer progresses, this figure is expected to increase.
TransLink’s health safety measures for SeaBus include a 50% capacity limit for each vessel, decals and signage asking passengers to keep physical distance, new boarding procedures that prevent passengers from lining up on the ramp during busy periods, and recommending mask compliance.
Across the transit network, most services are near normal operational levels, and TransLink says new emergency operating funding from senior governments will reduce the need to make service cuts over the coming months.
Total transit ridership is currently 40% of normal levels, an increase from below 20% in early April.