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.)
Greater Vancouver 126
Metro Portland, OR
Portland including Clark County, WA 52
SeattleEverettTacoma 42

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.