Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows saw bus ridership climb over a three-year span despite a net decrease in service.
A new Translink report on bus system performance suggests it is reaping gains from its ongoing service optimization – which culls service hours from some routes or times where buses are underused – and boosts service in areas where overcrowded buses routinely pass up waiting passengers, or where more buses could attract new riders.
Surrey was the big beneficiary of Translink’s strategy. Between 2010 and 2013, the south of Fraser bus routes were allocated 11 per cent more service hours, while the North Shore got an extra 8.9 per cent.
Richmond, however, was reduced by 3.9 per cent and Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows bus service was cut 2.3 per cent. Changes were minimal elsewhere.
Nevertheless, bus ridership increased in Metro Vancouver except Burnaby over the three-year span.
Gains of two per cent in Vancouver, the North Shore and the Tri-Cities, 10 per cent in Richmond, 11 per cent in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, 15 per cent south of the Fraser (Surrey, White Rock, Langley, North Delta) and a 21-per-cent increase in South Delta.
Overall, it means TransLink is moving about three per cent more people by bus with largely the same resources as 2010 – an extra eight million trips per year.
“We’re pleased with the results,” said Jeff Busby, TransLink’s senior manager of project development.
“We’re trying to do the best we can with the resources we have.”
TransLink is considering reducing the C43/44 Haney Place-Maple Meadows-Meadowtown service from every half hour to hourly during non-rush hour times. It’s proposing the same for the C47 Alouette-Port Haney Station-Haney Place route.
The report says the strategy has eased crowding on the 25, 41, and 99 B-Line in Vancouver, the 319 in Surrey, 106 in Burnaby-New West and the 410 in Richmond.