Blog service

Weekend commuters boost ridership recovery

The resumption of ridership is in full swing – and weekend trips have a lot to do with it.

Throughout the pandemic, weekend ridership recovery has been consistently higher than weekday ridership recovery, with the last three weekends reaching 75% of pre-pandemic levels.

This tells us that as the economy continues to reopen, people are choosing to take public transit to reconnect with the people and places they love.

As part of our Ridership Restoration campaign, we’re working to encourage people to take public transit to events and concerts, and the numbers we’re seeing are encouraging.

We see this trend especially when major events are happening on the weekends in Metro Vancouver:

  • Last September, the North Vancouver Shipyard Festival saw SeaBus ridership up 86% compared to 2019 boardings for the same event.
  • During the Canada Rugby Sevens tournament in April, we saw a 76% increase in runners at Stadium-Chinatown Station compared to an eventless Saturday.
  • Ridership for the Vancouver Sun Run (April 24) and BMO Vancouver Marathon (May 1) was more than 14% higher than the average Sunday ridership for March and April 2022.

Another reason for the promising return of weekend runners could be because commuters working weekends are more likely to have on-site jobs, such as store clerks or hospital staff, which means that they are less likely to have work-from-home options.

That’s why, during our spring service changes, we increased service to places like Stanley Park, Grouse Mountain and White Pine Beach.

In June, we will be releasing our summer service changes to make it even easier for customers to reach popular weekend destinations.

Weekend attendance in numbers

  • In the first four months of 2022, weekend ridership has averaged 6-7% higher in terms of pre-COVID recovery than weekday ridership.
  • Weekend ridership recovery has been consistently higher than weekday ridership recovery throughout the pandemic.
  • TransLink ridership is now 70% of pre-pandemic levels; this is one of the highest levels of ridership recovery among major transit systems in Canada and the United States, with weekends bouncing back stronger.

There’s more in store for the rest of the year when it comes to major events in Metro Vancouver. The summer season will bring many concerts, festivals and outdoor recreation and we want public transit to be your first choice, knowing that it is safe, reliable and convenient for getting around.