News Local

Ridership drops for TransLink 0

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

People pay for SkyTrain tickets. (FILE PHOTO/24 HOURS)

People pay for SkyTrain tickets. (FILE PHOTO/24 HOURS)

Despite finishing the first quarter in the black, TransLink’s ridership for 2014 is estimated to have sunk 2.9% lower than last year.

The estimate, according to a TransLink financial and performance report, relates to how the authority is already 4.9% below budget for transit fare revenue in the first few months of the year. 

That’s about $6 million less than what TransLink was anticipating it would make, the report said.

“Farebox and prepaid fare revenues combined was $4.7 million below budget, which was driven by lower ridership than what had been assumed in the budget,” the report said. 

“Prepaid contracts were down compared to budget due to a $1.1 million adjustment relating to the prior period.”

TransLink said in a statement the 2013 fare increase, enhancement to roads and bridges, cycling and car sharing are among the reasons for the ridership fall. Transit expansion in the past few years has also been limited to the No. 555 Port Mann express and the 96 B-Line in Surrey.

It added optimizing bus routes since 2010 has increased efficiency by 4%. 

One of the chief reasons TransLink recorded a surplus this quarter, the report said, was a large increase of 16.7% in fuel tax revenue — or $12.8 million more than what was received during this same time last year. 

 

TransLink said the boost might be a benefit of the weakened Canadian dollar as fewer cross the border to fill up.

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