Canada Day ridership hits new records

Canada Day ridership hits new records

Streams of people walking on Cordova Street near Waterfront Station, a bus in the background.

This Canada Day, there were over 800,000 boardings across our transit system as people chose to hop on transit to take part in the celebrations, with SeaBus in particular seeing record-breaking numbers.

There were over 24,000 total daily boardings on the SeaBus, making it the best ridership day since the start of the pandemic.

TransLink is leading the way when it comes to ridership recovery among transit agencies in North America, and while there is still a long way to go to rebuild ridership to pre-pandemic levels it is encouraging to see people choosing transit when they want to take part in festivities like Canada Day.

On average, TransLink’s ridership is recovering at around 72% of pre-pandemic levels, but on Canada Day it reached 83% when compared to 2019, for SeaBus it was higher at 90%.

There are a few considerations to note when it comes to these figures: in 2019 Canada Day fell on a Monday versus this year it was on a Friday; and there were no fireworks at Canada Place only daytime events, where in previous years fireworks were a massive draw for people to come downtown.

What the numbers do tell us is that when people have places to go, they choose transit knowing it’s a safe, convenient and affordable way to move around.

We want to encourage even more people to go car-free this summer and explore their vibrant neighbourhoods using transit, cycling or walking. To make it easier to do so, we have increased increased 11 bus routes that service popular summer destinations and launched a new Bike Bus summer service to make it easier for those wanting to cycle to and from the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. If that isn’t enough, as part of our car-free summer campaign, we are partnering with local businesses to offer discounts to hundreds of attractions and activities across Metro Vancouver. Head to our website to check out the deals and see which events are coming near you this summer.

On Canada Day, we saw people choosing to go car-free when attending Canada Day celebrations. We saw the strongest ridership numbers in areas where Canada Day celebrations were held in highly transit-accessible locations like Downtown Vancouver, Lonsdale Quay, Central Park in Burnaby and Lafarge Lake and Town Centre Park in Coquitlam.

We also saw 6% higher boardings for the Expo-Millennium Line from 9 to 11 p.m. this year when compared to 2019. These increases were primarily driven by ridership near Central Park in Burnaby, where they once again held concerts and fireworks. There were some staggering numbers when it came to people choosing to take transit in the evening at Patterson and Metrotown Station, with a 490% increase and 177% increase when compared to 2019 figures.

Here is the breakdown of how ridership at stations near Central Park did this year compared to 2019:

So this summer, choose transit, cycling or walking to get to your favourite summer destination or festival. Use our Trip Planner to find the easiest way to get there and sign up for Transit Alerts to be in the know of any changes to service.