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A look back at the 2010 Olympics after one year on, from a transit perspective!

A cheerful crowd waits to board the SeaBus after the Olympic opening ceremonies, Friday February 12, 2010. Over 60,000 people headed to BC Place for the opening celebration that day! Find a few more SeaBus opening day photos here [1].

Since everyone’s doing a retrospective on “one-year after the Olympics,” I thought the Buzzer might as well jump in too :)

Scroll on down for an update on transit ridership one year post-Olympics, plus some classic photo and video from transit during the 2010 Olympic Games.

Transit riders kept on boarding after the Games in 2010

As you may know, transit ridership was incredibly high [2] during the Olympics—and the ridership actually stayed higher for the remainder of 2010.

Here’s an excerpt from a news release we just put out today (see the release [3] for even more stats):

The number of boardings (each time a person gets on a transit vehicle) increased 11.0 per cent over 2009 to just under 348 million. Subtracting February from each year, which was skewed by the Olympics, the total of nearly 309.5 million boardings in 2010 is 7.8 per cent higher than 2009.

Part of the reason for the increase is the addition of the SkyTrain Canada Line, which recorded nearly 38.5 million boardings in 2010. TransLink’s Fare Audit surveys have found 40 per cent of Canada Line customers use the SkyTrain line as part of an integrated travel plan – connecting from South of Fraser routes or crosstown buses in the city of Vancouver; 60 per cent of Canada Line customers are using it for their entire trip.

An interesting figure is a sharp jump in ridership on West Vancouver Transit. “Blue Bus” recorded 9.8 million boardings in 2010. Again removing the figures for the February months, that represents a 6.4 per cent lift over 2009.

West Coast Express registered a 6.1 per cent increase in boardings, to nearly 2.8 million, primarily due to the midday trips that were added during the Olympics. It is clear from this and the success of expanded TrainBus schedule that residents along the West Coast Express route embrace additional service when it is available. While adding midday runs is currently not possible, the new railcars acquired in late 2010 allow for longer trains and more available seats. Even discounting the “Olympics factor”, the number of boardings increased a healthy 3.3 per cent over 2009.

A similar story comes from the Vancouver Board of Trade. They recently did a survey asking people about their travel habits after the Olympics [4], and found that almost one-third of those polled who adopted new transportation methods during the Games have kept up with their new behaviour.

Here’s a couple more news stories about the Board of Trade survey that might be of interest:

Classic photos, videos, and more!

During the Games, one of our transit hosts helped out a very fishy traveller at Broadway-City Hall Station.

I’ve waded through the Buzzer blog’s Olympic and Paralympic [9] category to bring you some gems :)

Above is a salmon snapped trying to ride our system. Check out the full post [10] for another photo!

Crowds rush out of Richmond-Brighouse Station, heading for the O-Zone entertainment zone.

Richmond saw a huge number of visitors flow in through the Canada Line, looking for some Olympic fun at the O-Zone. Here are a couple of posts showing the crowds at these stations on February 16 [11] and February 27, 2010 [12].

The lineup for the Canada Line at about 4 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17.

I know, I’ve highlighted this one before in other posts, but I think it’s such a great photo! As you all remember, lineups were everywhere for transit in downtown Vancouver. Above is the lineup for the Canada Line at Waterfront Station on February 17, 2010. You can see more aerial photos of crowds in this post [13], and check out even more nutty photos of the crowded streets in this post [14].

Extra Olympic buses parked on Pender Street, waiting to pick up crowds from the PNE. Photo by David Lam.

We had over 100 extra buses tucked away in strategic locations around Metro Vancouver to help carry the crowds of riders heading to and from Olympic events. Transit photographer David Lam captured photos of these buses patiently awaiting their instructions: see this post for more of his pictures! [15]

Crowds flood into Waterfront Station from the West Coast Express, February 19, 2010.

West Coast Express had a ton of extra trips during the Games period, and their trains brought about 2000 riders into Waterfront Station with every arrival! Managing the crowds was a bit of a fine art: check out this post [16]for more on how we did that. As well, here’s a bit of a photo essay on West Coast Express service during the Olympics [17].

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news [18], world news [19], and news about the economy [20]

Above is a video of Jason Priestley taking the Today Show through his favourite things in Vancouver: number 2 on his list is the SeaBus!

Our transit system made a number of other great appearances on TV worldwide: for example, here’s a BBC video that really champions our system ran during the Games. [21]

You can also see another video of riders bursting out into O Canada on the SeaBus here [22].

The Olympic Line Streetcar, photographed on opening day, January 21, 2010.

Bombardier and the City of Vancouver brought a state-of-the-art streetcar in from Brussels so Vancouver audiences could give it a try. Here’s my post from opening day [23], and an interview with Matthew Laird [24], one of the streetcar drivers!

HandyDART helped take customers to the Olympics too!

Our HandyDART service also helped folks with mobility issues get to the Olympic events too! Check out this post following a HandyDART rider trip to the Games [25].

A box of single mittens found on transit. How sad!

Lost Property collected a whole box of single mittens on transit during the Olympics, plus things like videotapes, vinyl records, and more! Have a look at what they found in this post [26].

Transit 'lifeguards' helped manage crowds at King Edward Station.

Volunteers were perched on lifeguard chairs at transit stations to help keep crowds in order. This one is at King Edward Station, where we had a small space to manage big crowds coming out of the curling rink. See more about the lineup management here [27]!

Finally, here’s a video of riders singing O Canada on the Canada Line on the last, most rollicking day of the Games. For more photos and video of the enormous, excited crowds throughout downtown Vancouver ont hat night, see this post! [28]

Make sure to check out the blog’s Olympics and Paralympics [9] category to see even more posts about transit during the Games.

And if you have any Olympic transit photos or video you’d like to share, feel free to let me know [29]: I can showcase them in an upcoming post!