TransLink is implementing further service frequency reductions in its response to tumbling ridership amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The public transit authority announced today some daily trains for the West Coast Express commuter rail service in both the morning and afternoon peak periods will be cancelled beginning Thursday, March 26, until further notice.
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This is a cancellation of the 5:55 am train departing Mission City Station and the 4:20 pm train departing Waterfront Station.
Normally, the commuter rail operates five trains per weekday in each peak direction.
However, TransLink says its ridership on the West Coast Express has now declined by about 80%.
“TransLink is carefully monitoring passenger levels in order to balance lower ridership with the need to maintain social distancing,” reads a bulletin. “All other trains will remain on their regular schedules at this time.”
Data from TransLink indicates overall transit ridership across all services fell by 7% to 1.312 million boardings on Thursday, March 12; 17% to 1.213 million boardings on Friday, March 13; 23% to 726,000 boardings on Saturday, March 14; 29% to 552,000 boardings on Sunday, March 15; 38% to 843,000 boardings on Monday, March 16; and 52% on Tuesday, March 17.
All bus services across the region are now free to ride to allow for rear-door bus boarding, but SkyTrain, SeaBus, and West Coast Express services still require fare payment.
Due to low ridership, frequencies have already been cut on SkyTrain’s Expo and Millennium lines, SeaBus, and various bus routes. No cuts have been made to SkyTrain Canada Line yet.
— Steve Gelhorn (@steveybg) March 23, 2020
Editor’s note: This article has been changed with updated train cancellation times.