A near empty waterfront train platform is pictured in downtown Vancouver, Monday, April 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

TransLink returns to near-normal operations after COVID-19 leads to drop in ridership

Translink also said it would rescind layoff notices to nearly 1,500 employees

TransLink has resumed near-normal operations as of this week as B.C. enters Phase Two of its reopening plan on Tuesday (May 19).

The Metro Vancouver transit authority had heavily cut routes and laid off nearly 1,500 workers due to financial pressures from the pandemic. In April, TransLink said it was losing $75 million per month as ridership dropped by 83 per cent. The transit authority had suspended fare collection to move to rear-boarding mid-March but will resume paid trips and front-door loading on June 1.

Translink also said last week it would rescind layoff notices to nearly 1,500 employees after the province pledged to figure out a funding solution for the transit authority.

“With the commitment from the province earlier in the month, we have restored SkyTrain to about 90 per cent of what it was before the pandemic,” TransLink spokesperson Jillian Drews said, noting that service levels will return to 100 per cent sometime in the next week . However, capacity will remain lower as approximately half the seats have been blocked off to aid with physical distancing.

SeaBus is operating back at regular hours but with 30 minutes between sailings, while the West Coast Express is running three shorter trains.

The planned May 18 bus service suspensions have not gone into effect. However, five routes that serve universities – 32, 125, 143, 258, 480 – will remain suspended until further notice. Last week, TransLink said that three routes are being reintroduced for the summer: 42 Alma/Spanish Banks, 150 White Pine Beach/Coquitlam Central Station and 179 Buntzen Lake/Coquitlam Central Station.

READ MORE: TransLink suspending bus fares in response to COVID-19

READ MORE: TransLink to lay off nearly 1,500 workers, cut service further as ridership down 83%

READ MORE: TransLink scraps layoffs impacting 1,500 employees amid emergency provincial funding


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusTransit

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Herd of deer camp out in Yennadon front yard

Four bucks and two does rested under the shrubs of a Maple Ridge home Friday

Pitt Meadows technology to help grow leafy greens in Okanagan

Cubic Farms sold 16 of its machines to a company in Armstrong, B.C.

Maple Ridge mom wants justice on two-year anniversary of daughter’s death

Megan Kinnee, 19, died July 13, 2018 after motorcycle crash in Abbotsford

Maple Ridge neighbourhood rallies together for Saturday garage sale

Event aimed to bring Albion residents together – but not too close – while the financially strapped

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Fraser Valley loses the Keith Wilson Waver as Ron Hupper passes away

Hupper brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people traveling Chilliwack’s Keith Wilson Road

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Most Read