This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

My last post got me thinking about the 98/99-B Line again. Most of you are familiar with my previous Metro ridership posts, however I don’t think that I ever explained the reason I started looking at those numbers.

While attending the CITE conference in Victoria I talked to a engineer who worked for Vancouver. We got to talking about TransLink’s Gateway projects and specifically the Broadway Line and he said that basically TransLink can’t add any more buses because they are already running at 2.4 minute headways.

This in-turn got me thinking about routes here, none of which run that often. Anyways coming full circle today I become curious about how Seattle’s transit stacks up against Vancouver’s in terms of riders per mile (which I think is the best measure). Here are the results. Because I had to pull projected riderships and non Metro information this is less accurate, although you get a good idea of where things fall.

Vancouver vs. Seattle

The biggest thing is that the B-Line has huge ridership, almost more than Central LINK per mile. It achieves this with a medium BRT treatment which shows that BRT can handle lots of people. With that said I think it also shows that the B-Line corridors should already have Skytrain.

Also these numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt because the GVA has much higher densities than almost anywhere in the Seattle area outside Downtown/Cap Hill/UW. Then again that is an integral part of transit ridership isn’t it.

Skytrain is huge success and it shows. Also you can see that the initial Link segments has comparable ridership to the B-Lines but with any expansion plan now on the table it will grow rapidly and be comparable to Skytrain when it opens. Also notice how the old ST2 or a solo Eastside expansion don’t have amazing ridership compared to the other options. Goes to show how important the North and U LINK are for ridership.

Oh and poor Rapidride. It makes me want to laugh. Although then again Metro is spending ~2.5 million a mile for it which is a fraction of LINK. I had to make an educated guess (120% 54 and 358 ridership) because I couldn’t find any ridership projections. My guesses may be way off but we will have to wait until it opens.

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