Some preliminary statistics essentially compiled of Translink Annual performance reviews (BC Transit service plans before 1998) and APTA for ridership and US data.
Ridership evolution since 1986 (unlinked trip)
Ridership per mode since 1986 (unlinked trip)
Translink ridership 1986-2010 (unlinked trip)
- Due to the Olympic Games in 2010, it is probably prematured to draw conlusions, but if the trend maintains in 2011, and preliminary result of APTA shows that, it clearly demonstrates that canada Line has boosted the ridership by a significant number…
- Of interest is also the slow erosion of the ridership on the trolleybus system, the avent of the Canada Line, not only didn’t have stopped it, but seems to have amplified it:
Things happen like if rider having to take a trolley all the way to DwonTwon, could now prefer to take a bus (especially north of 41st) to the Canada Line: That trend seems corroborated by the recent surge in ridership on route like 49, and seems to say a lot on how the transit rider behave in front of choice –direct but slow route– vs –fast with transfer–
Ridership per capita since 1986 (unlinked trip)
Unlinked Transit trip per Capita 1986-2010
In agrowing region, it is important to see if ridership effectively growth on a capita basis, it is…
The figure above also indicates – in relative to ridership number normalized in 2000 – the gas consumption per capita.
- It appears clearly enough that the gas tax, which has increased from 10c, in 2000, to 17c/l recently, is not a sustainable funding option to Translink… neither property tax, is!
Below, are some statistics, published now, to provide numbers to substantiate a discussion following a recent post on the priceTag blog.
Operating cost per trip
Operating cost per mode
To benchmark the operating cost/trip per mode, we have choose the US average per mode data, mostly because they are readily available, and also because the size of the LRT sampling is big enough to be meaningful. because the perating cost is mainly dependent of the wage, the $US currency has been kept. There is 2 remarkable things to note in the graph above:
The operating cost per trip of LRT or bus is very close. When you consider that in a typical system the LRT will operate the trunk route, while the bus will be asked to operate “social” service, which provide endemic ridership, it is hard to single out a mode as better than another one when taken on average on the basis of operating cost. that has been true for the last 25 years
- The Translink bus operating/trip growth less than the US one, but what is the most striking is that in 1987, the operating cost/trip of the skytrain was $1.35. In 2010, it was $1.12. Nowadays, the average operating cost/trip of a US LRT is $US3.03…
Total Skytrain trip cost
Skytrain Operating plus Debt service cost (1986-2010)
With heavy investment, the operating cost is only part of the story. Usually the debt service is pretty great, an the Sacramento example previously presented illustrates it as well for “cheap” LRT.
The Skytrain debt service has been computed assuming a 30 years amortization at fixed rate, the rate was the 10 years+ Canada bond rate, at the date of the delivery of the purchase (opening new line, delivery of vehicles… It looks a pretty reasonable assumption since the number align pretty well with the one reported by BC Transit before 1998-Translink doesn’t carry the debt of the Skytrain). So far $2.7 billions of initial capital investment in the Skytrain network (Expo and Millennium lines have been accounted.
Obviously the opening of the Millennium line in the aftermath of a strike, has impacted severely the debt/trip.
The overall ridership on the network has absorbed it, and the Skytrain debt level was estimated at $2.87 per trip in 2010.
For Matter of comparison the total cost per trip of the Canada line was $3.99/trip, so like the Skytrain, in 2010…
non edited spreadsheet with original number available here (google docs spreadsheet ).