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Transit ridership records are being broken

Riders board the westbound 99 B-Line at Cambie on Tuesday, February 16.

Riders board the westbound 99 B-Line at Cambie on Tuesday, February 16.

A couple of stories were in the news yesterday about how our transit ridership is sky high for the Games.

The Province had an article about our Tuesday ridership, when all venues had Olympic events on.

Transit use this week hasn’t topped the estimated 1.5 million rides that were taken Sunday, but the system is entering a peak period that will likely continue through to next week, according to TransLink’s John Beaudoin.

Tuesday’s busy Olympic schedule resulted in about 900,000 bus trips, compared to the typical daily total of 750,000 to 800,000.

Ridership on the Expo and Millennium SkyTrain lines was up about 30 per cent to between 320,000 and 330,000 from the typical 250,000.

The Canada Line was getting 100,000 riders, but on Tuesday there were in excess of 220,000 riders.

And Frances Bula wrote an article in the Globe and Mail about last weekend’s ridership.

On Sunday – a day on which no one expected a surge – more than 1.5 million people used the system, with volumes up anywhere from 25 per cent to more than 100 per cent on different lines. That includes 700,000 riders for the day on Expo, Millennium and Canada lines, more than 800,000 on the buses, and 40,000 on the Seabus.

Numbers haven’t been crunched yet for Day 5, which had three hockey games and a victory ceremony, but they’re expected to be higher.


  • By Matt, February 19, 2010 @ 1:36 pm

    Wow, this is great but unfortunately demonstrates that Vancouver’s transit network is not at all ready for peak oil….

  • By Stefan, February 19, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

    Although it’s only a two-week event, I’d guess that (at least relative to population), the Lower Mainland’s transit system probably hasn’t seen usage levels like this since the Second World War, when the workforce was at full employment and oil and rubber were rationed.

    Someone wondered about Expo 86, and while transit usage was high, I’m sure it wasn’t like this.

    There were the British Empire Games in 1954 and the UN Habitat Conference in 1976, though…. :)

  • By Sean, February 19, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

    The #620 from the Tsawwassen ferry is also breaking records too… As many as 900 arriving passengers lately! The area supervisor has been keeping tabs on the loads from Swartz bay and has been dispatiching extra buses as needed… Today, there were so many people at Bridgeport Station around lunch time, that they sent about a half a dozen bus loads of passengers over to Marine Drive Stn!

  • By Dave 2, February 19, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

    On Wednesday Feb 17th I arrived at VCC-Clark at about 3:45, and all the seats on a 4 car MK-iI train were full… never seen that before

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 19, 2010 @ 10:00 pm

    Frances Bula has some detailed ridership stats that she got from our media team. Looks like our ridership has doubled during the Games!

  • By Emilie Zeibin, February 19, 2010 @ 11:55 pm

    Hi Jhenifer,
    Speaking of record ridership – I caught part of an interview on CBC Sask.Radio 1, with a guy from Saskatchewan, who is in Vancouver in connection with music acts playing there. He said he was very impressed with how Translink is moving around the massive amounts of people during this time. He also thought the people dressed in blue giving Transit info were really great… very informative and helpful. Maybe I should have sent this to customer feedback, but it is a second-hand commendation. It looks like Translink is doing a great job. Congrats!

  • By Paul, February 20, 2010 @ 2:37 am

    One thing I have noticed is some bus drivers have just been opening all the doors and doing all door boarding. Especially on the #20 at Broadway and Commercial where there are quite a few people waiting. It certainly helps to just get people off and on quickly.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 20, 2010 @ 10:09 am

    Thanks for that! I will pass it on :)

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