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Bus ridership growing in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

New services have brought back riders faster than in other cities
Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are unique in the region in having more bus ridership than before the pandemic. (TransLink/Special to The News)

The rebound in bus ridership in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows is stronger than the rest of the region, according to the latest data from TranLink.

TransLink is watching the recovery of its ridership after it plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and says its system is leading recovery among peer regions across North America.

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows has 101 per cent of its pre-pandemic ridership on weekdays and 109 per cent on weekends. TransLink notes this increase is partly due to the new R3 Rapidbus that was introduced in 2020, and additional service hours, which makes pre-COVID ridership comparisons difficult.

The rest of the region is down.

Ridership in Surrey and Langley is strong at 98 per cent of pre-pandemic levels on weekdays, but the rest of the region ranges between 73 and 81 per cent.

READ ALSO: TransLink installs new touch screens to help plan trips

On Friday, TransLink released a bus speed and reliability report, saying it shows bus delays due to traffic congestion are now at pre-pandemic levels. This underscores the need for investment in the system, as laid out in TransLink’s 10-year priorities, said the release.

The report found that bus delays cost Coast Mountain Bus Company $80 million per year. That’s about 15 per cent of the company’s operating costs. However, the report suggests that these are solvable problems, and expansion is the key to improving bus performance in the region.

Buses operate faster when protected from traffic via bus priority measures such as those funded by TransLink’s Bus Speed and Reliability Program. These investments complement the service expansions and future RapidBus and Bus Rapid Transit corridors identified in TransLink’s 10-Year Priorities.

“Every day, customers rely on buses to get them to the places that matter most, from work and school to healthcare appointments, and everywhere in between,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn. “With congestion returning to our roads, it’s more important than ever that we prioritize bus service, continue to invest in transit, and meet the needs of our growing region.”

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows mayors endorse new transit plans

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Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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