Just ’cause I’m that kind of guy (i.e., geeky), I spent a bit of time a few days ago looking at transit ridership figures in the three major metro areas in the Northwest. And—to nobody’s great surprise—Vancouver, BC remains the region’s transit leader:
|Metro area||Annual transit boardings per capita, 2006 (est.)|
|Metro Portland, OR
|Portland including Clark County, WA||52|
As you can see, Vancouver’s system (which includes buses and Skytrain light rail) attracts at least twice the average transit ridership as metro Portland (including bus, streetcars, and MAX light rail), and about three times as much, person for person, as greater Puget Sound (mostly bus, with a bit of commuter rail).
I’ll have some speculation later on about what all this means. But as with a number of other issues surrounding sprawl and transportation, Vancouver is leaving its southern neighbors in the dust.
Does that include passenger ferries?Skytrain is better than Max because of it’s underground downtown. The Seattle-Tukwila Line will increase that dramatically. When the Eastlink and Streetcars in Seattle are built, I bet Seattle-Everett-Tacoma will actually be tops in the region.
I hope you’re right, Transit Man! It’d be great to see Seattle on top in transit. But there’s reason to be pessimistic that trains will carry the day for Seattle. In both Vancouver and Portland, buses are the workhorses of the transit system. In Portland, buses account for about 2/3 of the transit boardings; in Vancouver, it’s about 3/4. I don’t know offhand what the expectations are for metro Seattle, but my guess is that if Seattle’s really going to boost transit ridership, a lot of the increases is going to have to come from buses.That’s definitely something for me to look into, though…
KaPow, weakling Seattle Transit-wienie-man! Portland’s surface MAX system has more potential than Vancouver’s Skytrain; more than Seattle’s Link LRT even after the transit tunnel extends to Northgate. Whappa Whappa Wappa! POW!!Vancouver BC transit ridership exceeds because of its land-use and development patterns. Portland has perfected the growth pattern theories than Seattle’s overpaid and ultra-conceited planners neglect. K-Poooomo!!Portland has the best long-term planning in place. Whether it is followed is another question. Take that, Transit-wienie-man. K-Pluuey!! Your transit sense is weak like a girly-man. Hah-Haaaah!!