TransLink is reducing service on a number of bus, Seabus, and West Coast Express routes due to low ridership and financial pressures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a news release, ridership has significantly decreased on a number of routes, with ridership down 90% on the SeaBus, 95% on West Coast Express, and bus boardings down by 82%.
Total boardings on the entire transit system are down 83%.
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“As a result of the sudden and significant drop in ridership, the temporary suspension of
fare collection on buses to allow for rear-door boarding, and a 60% drop in fuel tax
revenue due to fewer people driving, TransLink revenues have dropped dramatically,” says a release.
“At the same time, TransLink is committed to continuing to provide essential service for
people working in health care and other vital sectors.”
Customers are being told to prepare for the following service changes as of Monday, April 6:
- SeaBus will move to a 30-minute sailing schedule all-day.
- Coast Mountain Bus Company will reduce bus service with a
focus on routes with very low ridership. Priority will be given to maintaining
service on routes where pass-ups occur.
As of Wednesday, West Coast Express train 4, leaving Mission at 6:55am and
Waterfront at 5:30pm will be cancelled.
The service reductions will result in longer wait times for travellers, so customers are being asked only to travel if necessary.
“We are asking customers to only travel on transit if necessary, so space is available for essential service workers. Ridership levels will be closely monitored in order to balance physical distancing guidelines with the need to reduce service.”
A fare increase that was scheduled to take effect on July 1, has also been deferred for the time being.