TransLink monthly ridership beats 2010 Olympics levels for 1st time

Metro Vancouver’s transit system had its busiest month of all time in October, according to new numbers from TransLink.

The transportation agency says 39.65 million people boarded SkyTrain, SeaBus, HandyDART, West Coast Express or traditional buses last month.

That was enough to top the system’s previous record of 39.2 million boardings — set when Vancouver welcomed the world for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

“At TransLink, our focus is on delivering transit service improvements for our customers through the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond in a statement.

“It’s great to see this kind of ridership growth, one sign that customers are responding to better transit service right across the region.”

According to TransLink, the ridership milestone was reached with strong growth across all types of Transit.

Bus boardings were up 10.5 per cent year-over-year, SeaBus boardings were up 9.3 per cent and the West Coast Express saw a hefty increase of 12.6 per cent.

On the SkyTrain, the Expo and Millennium lines saw boardings climb 7.7 per cent, while the Canada Line grew by seven per cent.

The increased ridership comes in the wake of the rollout of phase one of ’10-Year Vision’ for regional transportation.

That plan has included a significant increase in the number of buses on the road, the addition of a new sea bus and the purchase of dozens of new SkyTrain rail cars.

Phase Two of the plan will involve the construction of a subway along Broadway in Vancouver, and some form of rapid transit in Surrey.

Plans for light rail have been scrapped by Surrey’s new city council, but the TransLink Mayors’ Council has yet to sign off on plans for a SkyTrain extension along the Fraser Highway.

Phase Two will also include the purchase of more SkyTrain cars and an expansion of bus and HandyDART service.

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