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Weekend commuters boost ridership recovery

Weekend commuters boost ridership recovery

Five SkyTrain passengers waiting on platform as SkyTrain travels past them.

Ridership recovery is in full swing – and weekend travel has a lot to do with it.

Throughout the pandemic, weekend ridership recovery has been consistently higher than weekday ridership recovery, with the past three weekends reaching 75% of pre-pandemic levels.

This tells us, as the economy continues to reopen, people are choosing to take transit to reconnect with the people and places they love.

As part of our ridership recovery campaign, we are focusing on encouraging people to take transit to events and concerts, and the numbers we’re seeing are encouraging.

We’re seeing this trend particularly when there are major weekend events happening around Metro Vancouver:

  • Last September, North Vancouver’s Shipyards Festival saw SeaBus ridership at 86% compared to 2019 boardings for the same event.
  • During the Canada Rugby Sevens tournament in April, we saw a 76% increase in riders at Stadium-Chinatown Station when compared to a non-event Saturdays.
  • Ridership during the Vancouver Sun Run (April 24) and BMO Vancouver Marathon (May 1) was over 14% higher than average Sunday ridership for March and April 2022.

Another reason for the promising return of riders on weekends could be due to weekend work commuters being more likely to have on-site jobs, such as store clerks or hospital staff, meaning they are less likely to have work from home options.

This is why in our Spring Service Changes increased service to places like Stanley Park, Grouse Mountain, and White Pine Beach.

In June, we’ll release our Summer Service Changes to make it even easier for customers to reach popular weekend destinations.

Weekend ridership in numbers

  • In the first four months of 2022, weekend ridership has averaged 6-7% higher in terms of pre-COVID recovery than weekday ridership.
  • Weekend ridership recovery has been consistently higher than weekday ridership recovery throughout the entire pandemic.
  • TransLink’s ridership is now 70% of pre-pandemic levels; that’s one of the highest ridership recovery levels among large transit systems in Canada and the U.S., with weekends bouncing back stronger.

There’s more in store for the rest of the year when it comes to major events around Metro Vancouver. The summer season will bring plenty of concerts, festivals, and outdoor recreation and we want transit to be your first choice knowing it’s safe, reliable and a convenient way to move around.