Transit ridership way up during first week of Olympics
Published Sunday, February 21, 2010 9:04AM PST
Forget dealing with Olympic crowds in downtown. Half the battle is just getting there.
Whatever form of transit you're taking, you're likely to encounter big crowds and long lines.
"Please do not push, there's room for everyone," a SkyTrain attendant advised the public crowded on the platform at Waterfront Station on Saturday.
Ken Hall said he tried to board the downtown-bound West Coast Express at the Pitt Meadows station Saturday, but because it was so crowded there, he had to drive in the opposite direction and board the West Coast Express at the Port Haney station.
"It's packed," he said after getting off the train, "but it's comfortable."
Even TransLink executives were in disbelief over the ridership numbers.
"It's one wave coming after the other. It really is a tsunami of people here," said Doug Kelsey, president and CEO of BC Rapid Transit Co.
According to TransLink, an average of more than 1.6 million people a day used public transit during the first week of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Preliminary figures show that average daily bus ridership is up 34 per cent at 975,000, and SeaBus ridership is up 200 per cent at 48,000.
The SkyTrain Expo/Millennium line reached a single-day record of 488,000 last Sunday.
TransLink's customer information line received more than 7,400 calls on Friday –- another record.
That phone number is 604-953-3333.
TransLink's trip planning website can be accessed by clicking here.
With files from CTV British Columbia's Stephen Smart