Ridership recovery increasing on Metro Vancouver transit: TransLink
A transit passenger wearing a protective face mask is reflected in the window of a bus as he waits to board in Vancouver on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. (Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
VANCOUVER -- After taking a significant hit in ridership due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, TransLink says there are signs of recovery across its transit system.
New data released Wednesday shows an 85 per cent increase in system wide boardings since the beginning of April, which had the lowest levels during the public health crisis.
"I'm very pleased to see our customers gradually returning to the transit system," said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond in a news release.
"We've worked hard to ensure our customers have confidence in transit by developing the Safe Operating Action Plan, which keeps our services as safe and reliable as possible."
Part of that operating plan, which was outlined last month, includes extra sanitizing, measures to encourage physical distancing and increased service to allow for more capacity.
TransLink's also recommending riders wear non-medical face masks on transit and announced it would sell its own branded line in the coming weeks.
Of all the modes of transit, West Coast Express saw the biggest jump in ridership with a 200 per cent increase since early April. SeaBus and Canada Line use more than doubled.
But even though ridership has gradually increased, TransLink says it's still low compared to pre-COVID-19 levels and system wide boardings are at 33 per cent of what they were last year.