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Surviving the Post-Labour Day Crunch

Students and commuters are gearing up for the Post-Labour Day Crunch (PLDC), or better known as – returning to the daily grind, after a brief summer hiatus. Last year, the start of September saw just over 320,000 average daily Compass boardings on the Expo and Millennium Lines! That made September the busiest month in 2016 for average daily Compass boardings.

Here are some fun facts about rush hour ridership:

  • During morning peak, between 8:15 and 9 a.m. nearly 10,300 people exit downtown fare gates at Main Street, Stadium–Chinatown, Granville and Burrard Stations.

That’s 35% busier than the 45 minutes before, and 70% busier than the 45 minutes after!

  • In the afternoon peak, between 4:30 p.m and 5:30 p.m. nearly 10,600 people enter fare gates at Main Street, Stadium–Chinatown, Granville and Burrard Stations.

That’s 27% busier than the 60 minutes before, and 20% busier than the 60 minutes after.

  • Expo Line peak service levels arriving in downtown Vancouver operate between 6:20 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. while peak service levels leaving downtown Vancouver operate between 2:45 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Compass Card ridership data for Canada Line shows very similar travel patterns.

Compass Card ridership data shows a +11% increase in weekday boardings in July 2017 over the same time in 2016. With the Evergreen Extension now in service, as well as an overall increase in transit ridership we’re anticipating this September to be considerably busier on the system than last.

To help prepare transit commuters for the impending PLDC, here’s a list of helpful tips to improve the transit experience of commuters.

Post Labour Day Crunch

Be Prepared

Know before you go by planning your trip in advance using our online Trip Planner. Sign up for Transit Alerts to receive up-to-date information about current transit conditions and system-wide transit alerts. Have your fare ready before you arrive at the fare gate or bus so you’re not holding up the line! Our friends over at Transit Police also have some tips to help students stay safe on their return to school.

Don’t forget! You can set your Compass Card to AutoLoad so you never have to worry about not having correct fare!

Try Time Shifting

We recognize this option isn’t right for everyone, but if schedules allow, try traveling during off-peak hours.

Did you know – Expo Line is busiest during the following times:
Arriving downtown Vancouver between 8:15 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.
Leaving downtown Vancouver between 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Canada Line sees its heaviest crowds at the Brighouse Station between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m.

Be Courteous

We’re all in it together when it come to commuting via public transit. Being courteous and respectful to your fellow commuters can make the trip more enjoyable for everyone. Way back in 2011, our customers voted Birdy Big Bags as one of their biggest Transit Pet Peeve, and it’s no surprise that bags on seats and backs is still one of our biggest etiquette beefs today! Be kind to your fellow passengers and keep your bag by your feet when travelling on transit.

Have Patience

Easier said than done at times, as we all try eagerly to get to our destinations. It’s important to remember to keep back from all doors, allowing room for passengers to disembark before making room for others to get on. Don’t forget to move to the back of the bus! There’s nothing more frustrating than being passed up by a bus packed at the front with space at the back. And lastly, remember to plan a little extra time into your commute during PLDC as some passengers will be learning or re-learning their best routes to get to school or work. As we know, the first weeks of September are the busiest!

Switch it up

Routine is great, but so is trying something new! Use our handy Trip Planner to see if an alternate route may be available to help get you to your destination faster. Check out our TravelSmart program to learn ways to reduce your costs, impact on the environment, and improve your health just by the transportation choices you make every day! Mixing modes of travel can speed up your journey and help to avoid crowds.

What are your helpful tips to survive the PLDC? If you have any other suggestions, we’d love to hear them in the comments section below!

Author: Sarah Kertcher


1 Comment

  • By deb watts, September 1, 2017 @ 12:28 pm

    Please be aware that older people also use transit. I was brought up to relinquish my seat to my elders. This rarely happens anymore. Its time to brush up on your manners and stand on your young legs and give your seat up to your elders!

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