TransLink has released its final ridership numbers for 2017, with figures showing transit use reaching an all-time high in Metro Vancouver.
In 2017, ridership in Metro Vancouver reached a record-breaking 407 million boardings, a 5.7 percent increase over 2016. The number of journeys in the system reached 247 million, another record and an increase of 5.8 percent over the year before.
This growth demonstrates how investments like the Evergreen Extension and the significant boost to transit service as part of the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision is continuing to make transit the preferred option for more people in the region.
Ridership grew across all modes except West Coast Express, which experienced a drop of 5.5 percent, as some customers found the new Evergreen Extension more convenient for their needs. On HandyDART, 1.25 million trips were provided in 2017, up two per cent from the year before. The significant ridership boost is driven partly by the growth of economic activity in Metro Vancouver, which was Canada’s fastest-growing metropolitan economy in 2017 and is experiencing its lowest unemployment rates since the 2007-2008 economic down turn.
Metro Vancouver’s sustained investments in rapid transit over the last 30 years — including the Millennium and Canada lines — have created a record of ridership increases that are without peer in Canada. No major urban centre has seen as great a shift in people choosing transit as their mode of choice.
In order to maintain our region’s track record of livability and prosperity, advancing projects like the Broadway Extension and the Surrey LRT in timely fashion is crucial.
Kevin Desmond, CEO, TransLink, said, “Past investments in transit infrastructure are paying dividends as we see the record-breaking ridership and the rapid growth in transit as the preferred option for commuters. It’s a great trajectory, and with demand for transit still running high, it’s imperative that we continue investing and adding service, so we can deliver service that is reliable, convenient and reduces crowding for our customers.”
Richard Stewart, mayor, city of Coquitlam, said, “The opening of the Evergreen Extension just over a year ago has been a game-changer for our community. This continued investment in public transit, as an option for residents and commuters, is vital to maintaining the livability of the region."
Richard Walton, mayor, district of North Vancouver and vice-chair, mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation, said “It is encouraging to see regional transit usage continue to rise. Better transit builds stronger and more resilient communities.”