TransLink has announced it will be reducing service on buses, SeaBus and West Coast Express effective Monday (April 6).
According to an info bulletin from TransLink Saturday, the changes are “due to low ridership and financial pressures” from COVID-19.
TransLink will also be deferring its fare increase scheduled for July 1 to a later date. No date was specified.
The service changes are:
• SeaBus will move to a 30-minute sailing schedule all day starting Monday
• Coast Mountain Bus Company will reduce its bus service “with a focus on routes with very low ridership”
• The West Coast Express train 4, which leaves Mission at 6:55 a.m. and Waterfront at 5:30 p.m., will be cancelled
For detailed information on the affected routes, visit TransLink’s online trip planner.
TransLink says that since mid-March, SeaBus ridership is down 90 per cent, West Coast Express ridership is down 95 per cent, bus boardings are down 82 per cent and total boardings on the entire transit system are down 83 per cent.
The company’s revenues have “dropped dramatically” because of the “sudden and significant” drop in ridership, the temporary suspension of fare collection on buses to allow for rear-door boarding and a 60 per cent drop in fuel tax revenue due to fewer people driving.
TransLink add that the current services “may not be fiscally sustainable and further reductions may become necessary in the near future.”
“While TransLink is prioritizing routes with high ridership, these service reductions will mean longer wait times for some customers,” the bulletin reads. “We are asking customers to only travel on transit if necessary, so space is available for essential service workers. Ridership levels will be closely monitored in order to balance physical distancing guidelines with the need to reduce service.”