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ETS Bus and General Transit Improvements

ETS surveyed 3000 riders last year.

Only 15% of riders choose ETS because it’s convenient.

As expected, Sense of safety/security & cleanliness scored the lowest & increasing service frequency was suggested.

Admin Presentation - Quarterly Verbal Update: Enhanced Transit Safety Plan & Downtown Core
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Honestly, who cares who much it is up since 2021.

Where do we sit compared to say 2000-2010-2019? and how does that factor in growth of usage if you factor in population growth?

I have an odd feeling that they would not want to do those calculations...

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Transit ridership up 130 per cent
June 12, 2024

Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) monthly ridership has grown by over 3 million, or 130 per cent, since spring 2021, continuing one of the strongest post-pandemic ridership recoveries in the country.

Starting in April 2021, when ETS launched its current bus network, year-over-year monthly ridership has increased for 37 consecutive months. For example, monthly ridership jumped from 2.3 million in April 2021, to 3.3 million in April 2022, 4.3 million in April 2023, and 5.2 million in April 2024. Ridership reached 5.3 million in May 2024.

“I am so pleased to see more riders returning or discovering transit as a viable option to connect them with the places and people they love. It’s a testament to the work that focuses on improving the rider experience that helps move more people throughout the city, whether it’s for a special event such as the Stanley Cup playoffs or a summer festival, or day-to-day commutes for work and play,” said Carrie Hotton-MacDonald, Branch Manager of Edmonton Transit Service.

The launch of the Valley Line Southeast LRT has been one of several contributing factors. In the first six months of Valley Line Southeast service, ridership has grown from 138,000 monthly riders in November 2023 to 223,000 monthly riders in April 2024. Currently, Valley Line Southeast, which runs from Mill Woods to Downtown, represents around 13 per cent of total LRT ridership.

In late 2023, through investments from Council, ETS was also able to grow the bus network for the first time since the 2015/16 budget. This included adding 70,000 new annual service hours previously allocated to Valley Line Southeast precursor bus service. As a result, ETS added more off-peak and frequent service to enhance flexibility for riders.

As Edmonton continues to grow, and the needs of transit riders change, ETS continually analyzes transit performance to ensure it remains efficient and effective for riders. This includes making service adjustments five times each year, based on transit data, rider feedback, seasonal changes and ridership growth. ETS conducts numerous rider research programs and has expanded partnerships to help ensure its service meets the needs of all riders.

For more information:
edmonton.ca/TransitReports

Media contact:
Brieanne Graham
Communications Advisor
City Operations
780-613-3496
 
This is fascinating to me. Maybe this is common? I’m not sure how other cities rank. I would have thought the middle 2 groups to be highest. 70% of users to be less than 20 times is interesting.

School users should be 20+. Full time commuters using it should be 20+. Especially with ARC, moving people from 5-10 times a month to 15-20 would be big for revenue. Likely easier to capture some of those additional trips from existing users vs new users.

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It's still far below 2019. I'll take the positive spin though because as dumb as it sounds, hearing those percentages probably would convince people that more people are taking it, making it safer for them to take it, and creates a feedback loop.

Consecutive growth is good though! As long as it doesn't stagnate or ridership halts, then those are steps in the right direction and it's a promising trend.

And gotta agree with YEG Bus Rider, increasing frequencies are a must to do, for both LRT and buses.
 
View attachment 571715

It's still far below 2019. I'll take the positive spin though because as dumb as it sounds, hearing those percentages probably would convince people that more people are taking it, making it safer for them to take it, and creates a feedback loop.

Consecutive growth is good though! As long as it doesn't stagnate or ridership halts, then those are steps in the right direction and it's a promising trend.

And gotta agree with YEG Bus Rider, increasing frequencies are a must to do, for both LRT and buses.
Interesting how pre COVID both January and February of 2020 actually had an increase, then of course all heck broke loose.
 
Honestly, who cares who much it is up since 2021.

Where do we sit compared to say 2000-2010-2019? and how does that factor in growth of usage if you factor in population growth?

I have an odd feeling that they would not want to do those calculations...


---
Transit ridership up 130 per cent
June 12, 2024

Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) monthly ridership has grown by over 3 million, or 130 per cent, since spring 2021, continuing one of the strongest post-pandemic ridership recoveries in the country.

Starting in April 2021, when ETS launched its current bus network, year-over-year monthly ridership has increased for 37 consecutive months. For example, monthly ridership jumped from 2.3 million in April 2021, to 3.3 million in April 2022, 4.3 million in April 2023, and 5.2 million in April 2024. Ridership reached 5.3 million in May 2024.

“I am so pleased to see more riders returning or discovering transit as a viable option to connect them with the places and people they love. It’s a testament to the work that focuses on improving the rider experience that helps move more people throughout the city, whether it’s for a special event such as the Stanley Cup playoffs or a summer festival, or day-to-day commutes for work and play,” said Carrie Hotton-MacDonald, Branch Manager of Edmonton Transit Service.

The launch of the Valley Line Southeast LRT has been one of several contributing factors. In the first six months of Valley Line Southeast service, ridership has grown from 138,000 monthly riders in November 2023 to 223,000 monthly riders in April 2024. Currently, Valley Line Southeast, which runs from Mill Woods to Downtown, represents around 13 per cent of total LRT ridership.

In late 2023, through investments from Council, ETS was also able to grow the bus network for the first time since the 2015/16 budget. This included adding 70,000 new annual service hours previously allocated to Valley Line Southeast precursor bus service. As a result, ETS added more off-peak and frequent service to enhance flexibility for riders.

As Edmonton continues to grow, and the needs of transit riders change, ETS continually analyzes transit performance to ensure it remains efficient and effective for riders. This includes making service adjustments five times each year, based on transit data, rider feedback, seasonal changes and ridership growth. ETS conducts numerous rider research programs and has expanded partnerships to help ensure its service meets the needs of all riders.

For more information:
edmonton.ca/TransitReports

Media contact:
Brieanne Graham
Communications Advisor
City Operations
780-613-3496
I'm 100% in agreement, cherry picking statistics doesn't mean a thing, lets see monthly and annually for 2017 to 2024, picking a start from the lowest point makes the numbers worthless.

I'm not surprised by the results, areas to improve are safety, connections/routes. cleanliness, frequency, as ETS timeliness/connections is a major problem, and has been for years
 
View attachment 571715

It's still far below 2019. I'll take the positive spin though because as dumb as it sounds, hearing those percentages probably would convince people that more people are taking it, making it safer for them to take it, and creates a feedback loop.
When I started this post this morning I start off by saying: "I've been finding that trying to decipher anything ridership related from ETS is... painful."

I thought at the time I had an answer to why the 2019 ridership is still quite higher than the 2024 ridership. Unfortunately, when I went to do my due diligence I took down my own theory and left this post frustrated with it until I got back to it this evening.

Firstly, I am impressed that ridership increased for May over April, when historically there would be a decrease due to the end of post-secondary.

So, yes I am not a fan of ETS saying they had 5.3 million riders in May and that is up 130% over 2021 I think it a bit misleading, especially when we should be looking back to pre-Covid numbers. In which case, from the figures above, the numbers are 600,000+ short of the May 2019 numbers.

So... I checked the open data portal figuring that had been update for ridership. I was more so curious about March data, as that would be in Q1 2024 APTA Ridership Report.

ETS March 2019- 7,787,312
ETS March 2024- 4,986,123
ETS to APTA March 2019- 12,259,700
ETS to APTA March 2024- 8,177,200

I thought there might have been a difference in metric ETS reported back in 2019, but no. Regardless if you look at the ETS numbers, or the ETS numbers reported to APTA, There was still a significant difference in March.
I guess the positive is that for May the difference is 600,000ish vs. 2.8 million in March. I guess we'll see if that trend continues.

I did previously note, ETS changed the way they track ridership in 2019 from using fare product sales to APC data. They don't note when that change occurred. I assume it was for the entire year, so, that means 2019 and 2024 should have had their counts generated with the same methodology.
There is a note on the Open Data portal that ridership is counted as "Total number of bus and LRT origin-to-destination trips, regardless of number of transfers/boardings required to complete the trip. Also known as "linked-trips""

Given the significantly higher numbers reported to APTA vs. what is ETS is reporting to council and the public, I can only assume that they must be reporting unlinked trips to APTA.

Another thing I am now curious about is where does On Demand ridership fit in? It is reported separately on the Open Data portal, which makes me think it might not be included in the regular ridership totals? At the same time, APTA has a category for Demand Response, but ETS doesn't have that category on the APTA report so I'm curious if and how ETS is reporting that ridership to APTA.

I guess what I should really do is just email the City and ask for clarification between the difference between what ETS is reporting and what ETS is apparently reporting to APTA.
Link to the Q1 2024 APTA report: https://www.apta.com/wp-content/uploads/2024-Q1-Ridership-APTA.pdf
Page 38 for ETS's numbers. I am also curious why the quarterly change for both LRT and buses was 10.22% That seems highly unlikely unless ETS was just extrapolating numbers or something between the two modes.
 
Stats get even uglier when you account for Edmonton's population growth as well. Since 2019, the non-metro area population has increased around 10% and ETS ridership is still down what minimum 35%? Woof
 
Because a significant proportion of the population doesn't physically go to work anymore.
I don't buy that. How has Calgary managed to get their LRT ridership back to close to 100% but Edmonton hasn't?
In fact, Calgary's ridership reported to APTA is up to 14.5 million from 13.6 million in 2019 and LRT is at 8.8 million up from 7.3 million. CT reported that that was the highest ridership on their LRT since 2014.
Bus ridership lags in Calgary at 5.6 million today vs 6.3 million in 2019.
This is a good article on it: https://www.globalnews.ca/news/10485794/calgary-transit-ridership-up/amp/
 
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When I started this post this morning I start off by saying: "I've been finding that trying to decipher anything ridership related from ETS is... painful."
Ugh. Sooooooo. I was using the ridership for March 2019 based on the chart Kosy123 supplied, which looks like it is from a report to council.
Seems like it should be reliable. Numbers seem reasonable.
2024 figures were from the data on the City's Open Data portal. I should have checked the Open Data portals 2019 stats. This is interesting.
They show March 2019 ridership as 4.66 million. For 2024 that is now 4.98 million so we do apparently have an increase overall in ridership vs 2019.
Although there are at least 3 wildly different ridership figures for 2019:

ETS Open Data March 2019- 4,662,932
ETS Council Report March 2019- 7,787,312
ETS to APTA March 2019- 12,259,700
 
Jesus this all sounds confusing as hell.

From Open Data, we've essentially breached pre-pandemic ridership, and I'm guessing that's the metric we use with this news release.

The Council Report should be accurate but it isn't a consistent metric that's been updated and was a one-off.

APTA is also different numbers too.
 
I'm getting the sense here part of the problem is administration and council either don't know what is going on or can't communicate it. No wonder things are so messed up.
 

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