TransLink passenger numbers now recover to 87% of pre-pandemic levels

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Public transit ridership in Metro Vancouver continues to slowly increase toward pre-pandemic levels.

In a recent update, TransLink said passenger numbers in March 2023 reached 87% of 2019 levels, marking the highest percentage of a three-year recovery from a trough.

In April 2020, passenger numbers dropped to 17% of normal as the pandemic suddenly struck.

According to TransLink, the company continues to lead in rider recovery on all major public transit networks in Canada and the United States.

Here’s how TransLink’s passenger numbers fluctuated, based on updates to reported passenger numbers changes.

  • April 2020: 17% before the pandemic
  • September 2020: 41% before the pandemic
  • November 2020: 44% before the pandemic
  • September 2021: 55% before the pandemic
  • January 2022: 60% before the pandemic
  • February 2022: 64.5% before pandemic
  • May 2022: 70% before the pandemic
  • June 2022: 72% before the pandemic
  • September 2022: 77% before the pandemic
  • November 2022: Pre-pandemic ‘over 80%’
  • December 2022: 82% before the pandemic
  • March 2023: 87% before the pandemic

While bus service has seen the most ridership recovery to date, the West Coast Express commuter rail recovery has been slower than all other modes of service as semi-remote office work is still prevalent. lagging behind. Additionally, while the recovery in passenger numbers in downtown Vancouver and the Central Broadway cluster of office spaces continues to lag, the actual numbers continue to see very strong passenger numbers in both sub-areas of the region’s metro core. .

The areas with the greatest recovery in ridership are Surrey, Langley, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, where ridership has met or exceeded 2019 ridership.

TransLink says the recovery in passenger numbers is beginning to outpace existing service levels for public transit operations, which fell 4% across the region in 2020. Overcrowding in 2022 is almost back to pre-pandemic levels.

Translink Passenger Recovery 2022 23

TransLink passenger numbers will recover by the end of 2022, compared to Canadian and US averages. (translink)

In March 2023, the state government provided Translink with an additional $479 million in operating subsidies, funded by the state’s fiscal 2022/2023 budget surplus. The subsidy will cover the expected revenue shortfall from 2023 to 2025 and allow TransLink to maintain existing service levels, overcoming the previous threat of a potential major service cut starting later this year. reduce the

Passenger recovery in March 2023 reached 87%, but that would not translate into an 87% recovery in fare revenue. Translink previously noted that a larger percentage of its passengers are shifting to cheaper fare products such as one-way fares to go on less trips instead of buying monthly passes.

Next week, representatives from Translink’s Council of Mayors will travel to Ottawa to urge the federal government to expedite the delivery of the permanent annual transit fund pledged to transit services across Canada. This is intended to provide a consistent and stable source of funding, making it possible to reduce reliance on demand-dependent income, such as further pressure to raise fares and property taxes.



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