Here we go again!

It seems trouble is brewing on Broadway and for the sixth time since Jan.1 a media outlet has repeated the TransLink and City of Vancouver’s nonsense that Broadway is the busiest transit route in North America.

Well it isn’t and never was and my guess is that TransLink, the provincial NDP and the CoV are softening up the taxpayer for some bad fiscal news about the now $2.7 billion, 5.7 km Broadway Subway.

A RftV  re-post from four years ago.



For the past several years, the SkyTrain Lobby, politicians and academics have all said, almost in unison, that Broadway was the busiest transit corridor in Canada, if not North America.

The old Joseph Goebbels quote is true; “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

Thus for the past several years the big Broadway lie, enabled by TransLink  has ingrained the notion that Broadway is the most heavily transit route in Canada.

Fact Check!

In a letter to several news organizations, all metro mayors and other interested parties, I laid the foundation that Broadway was not the busiest transit route in Canada .

Stung by this, TransLink wrote a letter to myself and in a round about way claimed that Broadway “is our region’s most overcrowded bus route.

No apology and not even a hint of remorse, TransLink continues to boast about Broadway!

Finally, on January 31, 2019, you contacted several news organizations and this Secretariat raising concerns over TransLink’s assertion that the 99 B-Line is the busiest bus route in the US and Canada. TransLink is confident in its data collection and peer comparisons, noting that the 99 B-Line route on the Broadway Corridor moves 60,000 customers per day on articulated buses running every three minutes at peak times. This is our region’s most overcrowded bus route. Pass ups are already common, as our regular riders on that route are fully aware. TransLink projects that the 99 B-Line from Arbutus to UBC will be at capacity in the peak when the Millennium Line extension from Commercial-Broadway to Arbutus opens.

Just a minor footnote, according to TransLink the 99B moves about 60,000 customers a day, but of course that is both ways, as TransLink slyly tries to once again inflate the real ridership on Broadway.


The big prize is the now $3.5 billion Broadway SkyTrain subway to Arbutus and TransLink does not want the truth to upset the subway bulldozer!

Screenshot 2023-01-06 at 10-26-01 I you repeat a lie cartoon - Google Search


  1. Erin says:

    Firstly, the Ponzi scheme – TransLink is billions of dollars in debt (it’s true) and is expanding very expensive “sky” transit to actually take the money and rebuild its existing “sky” train network, which TransLink can’t afford to refurbish, under the guise that this is necessary to “expand” “sky” train with the Broadway subway or BS in Vancouver. Blatant fraud, strike one for TransLink. In fact, funding for rail transit to UBC has already been made to TransLink, many times over in the past, and TransLink keeps asking for more money every time another provincial government gets elected after everyone forgets that TransLink has already received funding for rail to UBC, previously squandered to fund TransLink’s massive bureaucracy. Look into this. Indictments are called for here.

    Secondly, the false ridership – TransLink has forever misrepresented the number of people who use public transit, and TransLink counts transfers as added people on “sky” train. Real transit use in terms of people is anywhere from one-fifth to one-half claimed by TransLink and has been steadily falling; otherwise, TransLink would be flush with money from “all the people” paying to ride “rapid” or “sky” transit. Blatant fraud, strike two for TransLink. This calls for the immediate removal of TransLink’s pricey and redundant executive team and especially the CEO who has actively promoted “rapid” transit taking more time to reach than it saves on it in order to inflate ridership and deceive the public to increase the funding going to TransLink.

    Thirdly, the environmental fantasy – to eliminate alternatives to the BS, such as electric/hydrogen buses or streetcars/trams on three routes (Broadway, West 4th Avenue and West 16th Avenue) or simply the tram/streetcar/LRT route on Broadway: SNC-Lavalin said that pouring concrete for the BS would result in the lowest GHG emissions and that it could be done for less than $3 billion all the way to UBC from Commercial Drive in Vancouver !! However, the BS is only going one-half the distance to UBC from Commercial Drive in Vancouver, and the cost of the BS is approaching $4 billion or more. Blatant fraud, strike three for TransLink. This demands the scrapping of the BS and the investigation of engineers aided by not only by CoV “Green” dolt/sham/councillors but also politicos including BC Green and BC NDP members of the legislature. Meanwhile, the gutless reporters at the CBC look the other way because the reporters who helped defeat the funding for the BS in 2015 all lost their jobs.

  2. Erin says:

    Vancouver Broadway rush hour traffic – comical, isn’t it? You decide, watch the following video before ridership plummeted and anyone who isn’t an idiot stopped using public transit to avoid the crime and Covid, views 919:

  3. Haveacow says:

    According to the TTC’s Fall 2022 data, these routes are busier than Broadway 99B Bus Route:
    (data is from Translink and the TTC)

    *Zwei when talking about individual transit routes “Boardings” are the correct use of the data

    99 B 35,800 Boardings (Fall 2022)

    King 514 A&B Streetcar: 48,900 Boardings (Fall 2022)
    Queen 501Streetcar: 37,400 Boardings (Fall 2022)
    Finch West 36 Bus: 36,900 (Fall 2022)
    Lawrence West 52: 36,100 (Fall 2022)

    There were 5 other TTC routes (2 streetcar and 3 bus) that came very close to equalling the 99B ridership
    (Boarding levels wthin 2000 riders daily)

    I didn’t even bother to check Montreal’s system yet.

    My point is that although Broadway is busy, it never had beaten the King Streetcar, even before Covid 19. There are several corridors in Toronto, that use painted bus lanes whose combined multiple bus line’s daily ridership, equals or surpass the Broadway Corridor. Only one is slated to even become surface LRT in the future (the 10.9 km Kingston Rd. Corridor will be used with Stage 3 of Eglinton Crosstown LRT extension to U of T’s Scarborough College Campus).

    Why are you spending billions on Broadway? Subway tunnels that cost, $2.83 billion (stage 1) plus at a minimum, $4.5 billion – $5.2 billion for the next stage to UBC, for ridership that other Canadian cities handled with surface BRT and mostly, surface LRT lines. Those Broadway tunnels will rob other areas of Vancouver of their Skytrain extension for decades to come.

    My Own Rant, Read at Your Own Risk:

    I have worked for decades in transit planning and have been accused on this blog of being anti transit or helping anti transit forces by pointing out basic facts. OMG! You guys are the ones helping the anti transit crowd!

    Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary are all building LRT extensions for 45% – 50% costs of the per km cost of the Surrey to Langley Skytrain Expo Line extension. This is the cheaper Skytrain extension by the way (the LRT costs were adjusted upwards for inflation). The SLS Skytrain Expo Line extension is roughly, half the per km cost of the stage 1 Broadway extension to Arbutus. (I didn’t adjust the stage 1 Broadway extension costs upwards for inflation, it would be even more expensive per km if I had). Those LRT extensions I mentioned have passenger carrying capacity equal or higher than the Skytrain’s. Yet taxpayers in Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton give their transit designers absolutely biblical levels of hell, for high capital costs. You are seriously pricing yourself out of the rapid transit market.

    With the Broadway to UBC Millennium Line extensions (both Stage 1 & 2 Millennium Line extensions), you are approaching Toronto and Montrea Subway/Metro tunnel extension costs but get stations roughly, half the length of a Subway/Metro Station and a line with less than half the passenger carrying capacity of both Toronto’s and Montreal’s lines.

    The expected opening day per km ridership of the Broadway to Arbutus extension is slightly less than 1/3 of the expected opening day per km ridership of Toronto’s Ontario Line, itself a driverless, Light Metro Line. Fiscal conservatives in Toronto have derided the city and provincial governments for the Ontario Line, a rapid transit line that they say, will carry too few passengers when it opens. The Ontario Line (formerly the Downtown Relief Line) was downgraded from a full subway/metro line because it was just too expensive for what the the City of Toronto (which paid the design costs), the Government of Ontario as well as the Federal Government needed and could afford.

  4. zweisystem says:

    I would not have re-posted this, except that the old saw, that Broadway was the busiest transit route blah. blah, blah is being regurgitated both on radio, TV and newspapers.

    My gut feeling is that some bad news is soon coming about costs and the powers that be need to return to the “big lie” to justify the subway.

  5. Bill Burgess says:

    I see claims for the busiest ***bus*** route, e.g., and and,in%20Canada%20or%20the%20USA

    but not the busiest ***transit*** route (the above sources cite data from before COVID).

    Mr. Zwei, Mr Progressive Horizons asked for your sources for the latter claim when you posted your claim in 2019 ( but you did not oblige.

    Can you please do this so we can all be equally indignant about false claims?

    Zwei replies: Read Mr. cow’s post. In 2019, Translink, in a response to my original call for a judicial inquiry of Translink, only claimed it was Translink’s most overcrowded bus route. Strange isn’t it?

  6. legoman0320 says:

    99 B bus schedule on Monday have 246 Trips(+or- some) in 1 direction. Max boarding at 1 stop is 28,536 or 49,200= 246 Trips X Standard Design XD60 capacity ‘116’ Articulated bus ( ) or capacity 200 (,(59%20to%2075%20ft). ). how much are we annually cost 99 B bus? 60,000 daily border 99 b bus for worst day for travelers… now before covid 19,R4,84 and 49 maybe??

    Zwei replies: you make some erroneous assumptions as the max capacity of the articulated buses used on Broadway is about 100 persons. Again the capacity stated is more or less theoretical capacity. I have been told that backpacks greatly reduce capacity on a bus or tram and most students today have backpacks.

  7. Bill Burgess says:

    Mr Zwei – again – when and where did Translink and/or the City of Vancouver say Broadway was the busiest “transit” route route in Canada and North America (as opposed to the busiest “bus” route)?

    I did just come across this statement: “The Broadway Corridor is one of North America’s busiest transit thoroughfares” at I don’t know what they mean by a “transit throughfare”, but in any case “one of” is not the same as No. 1 busiest.

    Your 2019 claim was about ridership pre-Covid, whereas Mr. Cow’s numbers are Covid-influenced. When the Covid dust settles we may see that comparative riderships have reversed. If Translink only referred to bus routes they can wiggle out of the comparison with Toronto streetcars.

    On a separate point, Mexico should be included in North America, and my guess is that have bus routes that dwarf anything in Canada or the US.

    My point here is not whether or not Broadway was or is the busiest route. It is that criticism of Broadway Skytrain proponents should be factual and claims properly sourced.

    Failure to do so makes it easier for them to avoid the scrutiny they deserve.

    Zwei replies: As of now I consider you a troll for TransLink, who is trundled out when they find themselves on the wrong end of the stick.

    The CoV , its bureaucrats and politicians, the mayor’s council on transit have all been touting Broadway as the busiest transit corridor in North America. this lie has been repeated so often that the media still claim this and it is pure B.S.

    When Translink found itself at the wrong end of a possible legal challenge they wrote a very pompous letter to me but claimed that Broadway was their most over crowded bus route.

    Cutting to the fact of the matter, TransLink and the CoV have never done an independent comparison study with transit corridors in North America. The 99B, of course, is the main route on Broadway with a peak hour performance of a bus every 3 minutes (3 minute headway’s) giving a peak hour capacity of around 2,000 pphpd. A reminder, capacity should not be confused with boarding’s.

    The sad thing is, you demand factual reporting from the RftV blog, but you do not demand the same from TransLink.

    here is a hint. Several retired politicians I have corresponded with have all said that TransLink is one of the most dishonest bureaucracies they have ever dealt with and politically untouchable as TransLink basically is an arm of the premier’s office. Any sort of local control is an illusion.

    The big problem is, unlike the USA and Europe, there is no independent audit of ridership and TransLink can claim almost any number it wants to without fear of being contradicted.

  8. Haveacow says:

    In Canada the maximum practical capacity of a standard articulated bus is about 100-110 (assumes a max of 4 pass/ sq. Meter standing). Any more than this especially in winter, the passengers are so crowded that most nurotypical people become incredibly uncomfortable. For most people when you get above 4 passengers per square metre in the standing space of most seating arrangements used in Canada, passengers no matter what the weather, try to find alternative means of travel.

  9. Haveacow says:

    This is just a few times Translink claimed the 99B was the busiest route in North America itself or other large media companies and large media content producers did, but made no attempt to correct it.

    Traditionally in the transit industry, Canada and the USA is considered part of North America, whereas Mexico is considered part of Central America, although that may be changing.

    Translink and the supporters of the Broadway Skytrain Extension have used this statement to emphasize the need for a bellow grade tunnel, much to the delight of the development industry and civic boosters, even when other cities move similar numbers of passengers with less expensive rapid transit options.

    Just in case you couldn’t read the article’s title or go through it yourself, “Prior to the pandemic, it was deemed by TransLink as the busiest bus route in Canada and the United States”.


    Global News

    Toronto Star



    City of Vancouver

  10. Haveacow says:

    When It Is A Bus Corridor VS A Bus Route?

    Last point, in New York City, Manhattan specficly, the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) has 3 bus corridors that run North-South but east of Central Park. Going west to east, they are 5thAv. (Southbound buses) and Madison Av. (Northbound buses) Corridor, Lexington-3rd Av. Corridor and the 2nd Av-1st Av. Corridor. In each case the first street of the pair handles the southbound bus traffic and the second street handles the northbound bus traffic. The Corridors are generally 5.5 -7 miles long, north to south (9 km-12km). Most stop at or around 125 St in the north and travel down to Houston St. in the south. 2 of the corridors have branches that go all the way into Lower Manhattan. Each one of these corridors in 2014 was handling more passengers than Vancouver’s 99B bus route ,2 out of the 3 corridors moved more than the entire Broadway Corridor. Subway and commuter rail improvements plus competition from private buses and vans ()both legal and illegal) had been steadily draining their passenger numbers up to the Covid Pandemic. Like most American transit systems passenger numbers absolutely tanked due to major service cutbacks that Canadian cities mostly avoided, thanks to the provincial and federal government transit aid packages.

    In the case of the 5th Av-Madison Av corridor 4 routes (M1,M2,M3,M4) sometimes at various points 5 routes share no fewer than 8.5 km of route (about 87% of the entire corridor) and the end 0.6 km -1.5 km sections branch out in different directions. By most transit system standards in North America, this would be a single route with branches but it’s considered separate routes by the NYCTA. The same can be said for the 4 sometimes 6 routes that share the Lexington Av-3rd Av. Corridor. Only 2nd Av.-1st Av. Corridor had a single route that for most of this century, the M15 route. Easily busier than 99B at any time. However it has no been broken up into the M15 Lc (local), M15x (express) and the M15 SBS (select bus service) a new brand of bus designed to fight the private vans and exclusive private buses, on top of fighting UBUR and LYFT.

    Individually, each one of the separate routes on each of the corridors, would have fewer passengers than the 99B but in 2 of the corridors, have bus routes that travel 85% to 90% of the same roads and would be considered branches of a central route. The last corridor, it is literally just different grades of service traveling the same route, mostly with the same name but a service qualifier at the end of a route label. These are just bus routes on the east side of Manhattan, not there busiest surface routes either. I didn’t even look at the busier bus routes in Staten Island, Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens.

    What amazes me most, is that the area of eastern Manhattan that I looked at (1st Av. – 5th Av.) is only 1.4 km wide and has parallel (running north to south) 3 subway corridors with 12 different subway routes and one of the busiest commuter rail corridors in the world leading into Grand Central Station and now out of the area to the south-west. The simple fact that the bus is busy at all, while competing with everything else, private cars, taxis both legal and illegal, ride share services, shuttle vans both legal and illegal, subways, and commuter rail, even helicopter based transit operating out of various heliports (and it’s not that expensive).

  11. TheKing says:

    If broadway is not the busiest route in Canada, then what is?

    According to wikipedia, it is the busiest route.

    If you have proof of a busier route, then give it and make an edit to wikipedia. I tried to make an edit to wikipedia but it gets undone because of no link to data.

    Currently wikipedia links to a translink 2018 page thats says there is almost 60,000 ridership.

    If anyone have proof to prove that 99b is not the busiest, then make an edit to wikipedia to correct it. Anyone can make an edit to wikipedia. You need to quote a source or your edits will be reversed.

    Zwei replies: I must remind you, Wiki is a good source, but………………….they do not proof the information and they let those from the outside post the info. Hardly accurate. The problem is, no one outside the metro Vancouver bubble gives a damn what Wiki says or about operations in Vancouver. Internationally, Vancouver and Translink is treated as a poor joke.

  12. TheKing says:

    Mr Haveacow makes some statements that 99 B has 35,800 Boardings (Fall 2022) but provide no proof.

    Zwei replies: Translink’s own numbers.

  13. Haveacow says:

    @TheKing, here is my earlier comment with the source capitalized:

    According to the TTC’s Fall 2022 data, these routes are busier than Broadway 99B Bus Route:

    *Zwei when talking about individual transit routes “Boardings” are the correct use of the data

    99 B 35,800 Boardings (Fall 2022)

    King 514 A&B Streetcar: 48,900 Boardings (Fall 2022)
    Queen 501Streetcar: 37,400 Boardings (Fall 2022)
    Finch West 36 Bus: 36,900 (Fall 2022)
    Lawrence West 52: 36,100 (Fall 2022)

    There were 5 other TTC routes (2 streetcar and 3 bus) that came very close to equalling the 99B ridership
    (Boarding levels wthin 2000 riders daily)

  14. Haveacow says:

    Whether it is a bus or streetcar, the title your looking for is a surface transit route. The busiest surface transit route in Canada has been the same for many years, the 514 King St. Streetcar in Toronto. What is important is that claiming this TTC streetcar route is busiest doesn’t immediately point to the need for a King Street Subway Line. What is interesting is that Toronto was able to improve the 514’s capacity by more than 30% by spending $3 million in concrete “K rails” and paint, and banning through traffic on the busiest 3 km section in downtown Toronto, no tunnels needed.

    Zwei Replies: And thus a streetcar route became light rail.

  15. Haveacow says:

    Oops, 504 not the 514 streetcar route.

  16. We need to oppose the $4 to $5 Billion SLS ( Surrey Langley SkyTrain ) . For that amount of money we can build Regional Rail from Vancouver to Chilliwack, Vancouver to Squamish, Richmond Centre to Steveston, Vancouver ( Marpole) to New Westminister .

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