Thursday, April 09, 2009

Looking at some transit numbers

I am back at the computer again, March Madness is over, all the bodies are buried, the houses are sold, the estates settled, and camping trips done. I can get back to putting my opinion out there into the ether.

I have been looking at some of the data on transit use (from the fall of 2007) and have dug out some interesting data factoids:

  • 92 289 passengers board buses on an average weekday - that is just over 46 000 round trips or 15% of the local population.
  • 85% of us will not get on a bus today.

  • Five routes carry about half of the passengers in this region - #6, #14, #26, #27/28, and #30/31.
  • The routes that go to UVic carry 48% of the passenger traffic in this region
  • The six fullest bus routes (most passengers per trip) are #6, #11, #14, #26, #33, and #70. Four of these routes connect to UVic.
  • Suburban, Westshore and Peninsula, commuter use of buses to get downtown is roughly equal to traffic on the #14 or #6 routes.
  • The #39, Royal Roads - UVic, carries more people now that the #61, Sooke - Downtown. The #39 also has more passengers per trip than the #61.
  • About 25% of the Westshore passengers board buses headed to UVic.
  • From the fall of 2006 to the fall of 2007 transit use increased in the core faster than the Westshore even though in that year the Westshore got 83 more hours or service and the core only 34 hours.

What I take from this is that transit is most strongly used in the core and in some connection with UVic. Any future thoughts about transit planning in this region has to focus on the needs of the people using the existing system first and foremost. The existing users are voting with their pocketbook and should be rewarded with more and better service.

I also take from this that any rail based transit has to use UVic as the starting point for any line as this is the only location that has the demand to be able to justify the high capital costs of a rail based system.
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