VANCOUVER -- Metro Vancouver residents using transit over the coming days may notice reduced service as TransLink responds to a significant decline in ridership.

TransLink says the decrease is due to physical distancing, which is being practised to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

In fact, last Tuesday, TransLink announced that boardings across the transit system were 52 per cent below the number from the same day in 2019. 

As a result of reduced ridership, TransLink says the SeaBus will operate every 15 minutes, instead of running its usual 10-minute schedule during weekday rush hours. 

As well, some bus routes will run with reduced frequency. The Expo and Millennium SkyTrain lines will also run less often, but the first and last train schedules will stay the same.

"Passenger levels will be carefully monitored in order to balance lower ridership with the need to maintain social distancing," TransLink said in a news release. 

TransLink has also temporarily closed its customer service desks at the Stadium-Chinatown and Waterfront stations and is asking riders to board buses by the back door only. Since some buses don't have Compass Card readers at the back door, TransLink announced last week it was no longer collecting fares on the bus system.