The transportation authority also announced on Saturday that a planned rate increase scheduled to take effect on July 1 would be postponed to a later date.
As of Monday, bus service will be cut “by focusing on very busy routes,” TransLink said in an email statement. Priority will be given to routes that continue to see full buses at peak times.
Metro Vancouver bus driver and public transit worker test positive for COVID-19
The SeaBus schedule will also be reduced to 30-minute intervals throughout the day.
West Coast Express trips leaving Mission at 6:55 a.m. and departing from Waterfront in downtown Vancouver at 5:30 p.m. will also be canceled.
TransLink suspends collection of bus fares
TransLink says that since mid-March, boardings on the entire Metro Vancouver transit system have decreased by 83%, while bus boardings have decreased by 82%. The number of SeaBus users fell by 90% over the same period, while the West Coast Express experienced a decline of 95%.
The cuts, coupled with the suspension of bus fares to allow rear boarding, have seen TransLink’s revenues drop “dramatically,” the authority said.
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A 60% drop in fuel tax revenue due to the decrease in the number of people driving also contributed to the deficit.
TransLink to limit seating on buses to curb the spread of coronavirus
“Current service levels may not be fiscally viable and further reductions may become necessary in the near future,” added TransLink.
No date has been set for the planned rate increase, which was to be implemented as part of TransLink’s phase two investment plan.
Single-use rates were to increase by 20 to 25 cents, while DayPasses would increase by 25 cents and monthly passes would increase from $ 3 to $ 5.
TransLink Makes Major Changes To Vancouver Metro Bus Operations Due To Coronavirus Pandemic
TransLink has already improved the cleaning of its buses, reduced the number of seats to allow physical distance, accelerated the installation of barriers for drivers and directed passengers on board only through the rear doors of buses.
Three TransLink employees – an employee of the Burnaby Transit Center, a bus driver from Port Coquitlam and a driver from Richmond HandyDART – tested positive for COVID-19. The three are self-insulating and the affected routes, vehicles and workspaces have been disinfected.
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