Oh Where, Oh Where Has Our Customers Gone………………..

TransLink must soon face a very unpleasant truth, Metro Vancouver’s transit system is crap; it is strictly a commuters transit system, with, except for the core of City of Vancouver, there is little off-peak usage.

The transit system is designed to feed the light-metro system and because of this, TransLink, as BC Transit before. has been overstating ridership for decades.

Metro Vancouver’s transit system is user unfriendly, with nothing about the system that attracts ridership.

Then add the Covid-19 fact that people’s work habits are changing, with many working from home or commuting by car to satellite offices, not in the downtown.

People, for health reasons are still commuting by car and for the elderly, they are just avoiding transit altogether.

This is not going to change any time soon, but the politicians, who have drunk their own bathwater for so long, haven’t a clue to the realities of metro Vancouver’s public transit system.

The old finical model for the SkyTrain light-metro network was deferring costs for the next generation to pay, the problem now, the next generation doesn’t want to commute, nor take transit. Trying to shove a square peg into a round hole, best describes current transit planning and the next generation, burdened with the aftermath of Covid-19, will have little sympathy for those who demanded a hugely expensive, inflexible and now obsolete transit system.

By the way, notice how TransLink’s CEO uses percentage and not the real numbers?

My guess is, real numbers would illustrate how devastating ridership has fallen, so much so, to give politicians pause, to rethink $4.6 billion to extend the Expo and Millennium Lines a mere 12.8 km.

User-unfriendly, very expensive to operate and maintain and inflexible in operation will be the final epitaph of Vancouver’s light metro system.

Metro Vancouver transit ridership hasn’t recovered from COVID-19: TransLink CEO

by Paul James

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Close to half of bus riders have not returned to transit as TransLink resumed full services this past summer after limiting them in the early days of COVID-19.

Even fewer riders got back onboard the West Coast Express and TransLink is expecting revenue losses of $2 billion to $4.5 billion over the next 10 years, CEO Kevin Desmond said during a quarterly board meeting on Monday.

Overall, ridership is still down compared to pre-COVID levels, he added.

“These are probably a lot of people that can very easily work from home and continue to work from home,” Desmond said.

On buses — the most used transit service — ridership is down 43 per cent compared to before the pandemic.

“It has responded somewhat more quickly than the other ones, all the way down to West Coast Express, which has had the weakest ridership return,” Desmond said of buses.

Only 17 per cent of riders returned to the West Coast Express, while that for SkyTrain is about a third of what it was before.The Expo and Millenium lines are at 38 per cent ridership compared to that before COVID-19. The Canada Line is at 31 per cent ridership.

Seabus ridership is down 27 per cent, while that for HandyDart is down 35 per cent.

Ridership varies by region 

According to TransLink, ridership varies by region to region, with fewer people in centralized areas — such as Vancouver — returning to transit, compared to the suburbs.

Ridership overall is down 39 per cent in the Vancouver-UBC area. That in Burnaby and New Westminster is down 37 per cent.

Ridership is down 42 per cent in the southwest area, 51 in the southeast, 37 in the northeast, and 55 in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

TransLink sought financial assistance from governments in April as revenue losses totalled about $75 million a month after introducing several measures to curb transmission of the virus, including read-door boarding and waiving fares.

Mayors look to increase ridership

TransLink initially planned to lay off about 1,500 employees, reduce senior executive salaries, and suspension of transit services, including buses, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and West Coast Express to cope with the revenue losses.

The federal government then provided about $540 million in direct aid to public transit in B.C.

TransLink then announced in August that masks or face-coverings are mandatory onboard transit vehicles.

With more people opting-out of taking transit and getting back into cars amid the pandemic, Metro Vancouver mayors are poised to consider how to increase ridership and decrease traffic.

A report set to be tabled at the Oct. 1 meeting of the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation points out some of the challenges TransLink is facing due to the pandemic.


One Response to “Oh Where, Oh Where Has Our Customers Gone………………..”
  1. r says:

    And Uber Lyft etc…?

    Zwei replies: and that too.

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