Long lines of passengers waited to take the SeaBus Monday as TransLink offered free transit across the Metro Vancouver system.

Free transit on B.C. Day wildly popular

TransLink ran third SeaBus, more SkyTrains and buses

TransLink’s day of free transit in apology for recent service disruptions drew heavy crowds on B.C. Day.

“We experienced heavy volume on most routes,” spokesman Robert Willis said.

Besides crowded buses and SkyTrains, passengers in some cases had to wait two or more sailings to board the SeaBus.

That was despite the deployment of TransLink’s third SeaBus reducing frequency to every 7.5 minutes – a level of service the transportation authority says it can’t normally afford until new taxes for a major expansion are approved.

Willis said TransLink anticipated the extra demand and had 46 SkyTrain cars in service, compared to 32 on a normal Sunday or holiday.

The three SeaBuses carried 48,300 passengers – more than two and a half times as many as the 18,000 on B.C. Day last year.

Bus ridership was up an estimated 40 per cent and the Canada Line carried 45,000 more passengers than it would on a typical stat holiday, an increase of 66 per cent.

“Transit supervisors monitored the volumes and continued to deploy more buses as required to get our customers where they needed to go,” he said.

“We also chose to postpone the regularly scheduled maintenance work on the SkyTrain in order to accommodate the volume last night. We again thank our customers for their patience as we managed the large crowds.”

The free day was in compensation for two major SkyTrain shutdowns that disrupted service for more than four hours and saw some passengers exit via elevated guideways. An independent review is underway into the July incidents.

TransLink had previously been criticized for not offering the free day during a regular work day when many more commuters could have made use of it.

There were complaints about long lines and crowded buses Monday, but there were also many appreciative thank-yous to TransLink on social media. (See reactions via Twitter below.)

 

Just Posted

Junior Team Canada brings home gold to the Lower Mainland, again

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

Surrey-Langley curlers in the running again for gold

Junior men’s team out of Langley hopes to defend its world title Sunday, going up against Switzerland

VIDEO: Giants earn 40th victory in a 4-0 triumph over Victoria

Vancouver G-Men move within a point of clinching the B.C. division banner at Friday’s at-home game

Developers to unveil plan to transform Aldergrove mall into new town centre

Community to find out new Aldergrove Town Centre plan for dormant 10-acre lot in heart of downtown.

Man sentenced for smuggling drugs and shooting at border guards

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford in 2013 after day-long manhunt

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

People gather for funeral of seven children killed in fast-moving Halifax fire

Traditional portion of the service will be followed by words from community members

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

B.C. skip Sarah Wark and team eliminated at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Nontheless pretty impressive stuff from the 24th-ranked team in the country

Pope’s sex abuse prevention summit explained

It’s A high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops the global problem

Most Read