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Traffic in Metro Vancouver back to pre-pandemic levels

Most roads and crossings in Metro Vancouver are back to pre-pandemic traffic levels according to statistics obtained by CTV News.

They show a 30 per cent rise in volume on the Port Mann Bridge, between 2020 when the pandemic began, and now.

The Alex Fraser Bridge which connects North Delta and Richmond, saw increase of 24 per cent. Similarly, the Massey Tunnel saw an 18 per cent jump in vehicle traffic.

The statistics were provided by ICBC, TransLink and B.C.'s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“We are seeing a ridership return in a very healthy way as well, so that ridership has come back at about 84 per cent overall,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn.

While it’s clear people are back on the road, it doesn't necessarily indicate that people are returning to the office.

“Well I think people’s patterns are changing,” said Vancouver Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung, noting there’s a 37 per cent reduction in employees returning to the downtown core.

“People are no longer doing the 9-to-5, five days a week in the office. We’re seeing that hybrid work where they’re working a couple of days at home, they’re in the office a couple of days, with more flexibility on the start and end times,” she said.

“If people are not coming back to the office downtown, they’re not buying lunch, they’re not visiting the local retail store, maybe staying after work to meet up with friends," she added.

The City of Vancouver hopes to lure people back to the core by holding major events like the FIFA World Cup, and also with crowd-pleasers like the proposed revitalization of Gastown and the continued attempts to revitalize historic Chinatown. 

There were also some anomalies in the traffic numbers, with two busy crossings seeing a decrease compared to pre-pandemic.

The Knight Street Bridge saw a drop in vehicle volume, compared to 2019, a year before the pandemic began. It’s down six per cent. On the Pattullo Bridge, the drop has been nearly two per cent. Top Stories

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