Metro Vancouver’s public transit authority is making some service frequency adjustments in response to the substantial drop in demand from the rapidly growing COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.
TransLink announced today bus routes with excess capacity — including routes now running without any boarded passengers — will have some of their frequencies reduced.
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Service changes to SkyTrain’s Expo Line and Millennium Line will result in slight frequency reductions, but the first and last train schedules will remain in place.
SeaBus will now operate every 15 minutes during the weekday peak periods, instead of every 10 minutes.
There are no service changes to SkyTrain Canada Line and the West Coast Express at this time.
Passengers are advised to check the online Trip Planner or Transit Alerts prior to the start of their trip to ensure their route is not impacted by service reductions.
“Passenger levels will be carefully monitored in order to balance lower ridership with the need to maintain social distancing,” reads a bulletin.
As of Tuesday, March 17, ridership across the entire TransLink network totalled 684,000 boardings — down by 52% compared to the same day in 2019. Bus boardings on this day fell by 48%, while Expo and Millennium lines dropped by 54%, Canada Line decreased by 59%, SeaBus fell by 69%, and West Coast Express was down by 70%.
Additionally, in order to maintain social distancing, there will be a temporary closure of the Compass Customer Service Centre at Stadium-Chinatown Station and the West Coast Express Customer Service Centre at Waterfront Station.
The public transit system remains an integral mode of transportation for essential workers during the pandemic, including healthcare and grocery store staff.
On the buses, passengers are being asked to board from the rear door to promote social distancing between other passengers and the driver. There will be free rides on all buses until further notice to enable this practice.
TransLink has been practicing enhanced cleansing and disinfecting measures for all train cars and buses on a daily basis to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.