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TransLink gears up for increased ridership with pandemic restrictions set to ease

Click to play video: 'TransLink gears up for robust ridership recovery in September' TransLink gears up for robust ridership recovery in September
TransLink is gearing up for the return to pre-pandemic levels of ridership as restrictions gradually lift. The transport authority says they're expecting up to 90 percent of regular users could be back on board by September but as Emily Lazatin explains, officials are adjusting their plans around two big unknowns – May 27, 2021

TransLink says it is en route to recovery as the province looks to gradually ease COVID-19 restrictions.

On Thursday, the public transit authority said ridership growth will depend on factors such as post-secondary students returning to in-person learning and people returning to workplaces.

Click to play video: 'TransLink launches public consultation for 2050 priorities' TransLink launches public consultation for 2050 priorities
TransLink launches public consultation for 2050 priorities – Apr 19, 2021

“Some uncertainty remains around the amount of work from home — so how many days a week requires travel into the office — and any lingering apprehension about the virus,” Theresa Reilly, TransLink manager of planning and policy, said at a meeting of the regional mayors’ council on transportation.

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“So if you do have to travel into the office, will this trip be a transit trip?”

TransLink said up to 90 per cent of regular users could be back on board by September, and staff are considering how that will shape staffing levels and overcrowding on buses and trains.

Read more: Major construction kicking off on Vancouver’s Broadway subway

Moving forward, the transit authority said the key to recovery is offering fast, reliable and safe service.

“We think it’s really important that people feel comfortable to come back to the transit system,” Steve Vanagas, vice-president of customer communications, said.

“So we want to show them and remind them of all the measures that we’ve taken to keep the system safe, including cleaning procedures, ventilation, and so on. And we’re going to keep doing that.”

At its lowest ridership point, TransLink said 75,000 people across the region still relied on transit every day.

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