Vancouver has the best public transit system in North America

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“Hard work and dedication” has led TransLink to be recognized as the best large public transit system in North America.

The transit provided was announced the winner of the 2019 Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award by the American Public Transportation Association July 24.

TransLink Canada Line Vancouver transit
Photo courtesy TransLink

The award category is for transportation systems in Canada and the United States providing 20 million or more annual passenger trips. The criteria is based on ridership growth, operational efficiency, maintenance initiatives, customer service, financial management, marketing and sustainability.

TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond said it was “the hard work and dedication of each of our 7,800 employees, the heart and soul of the organization” that made the win possible.

“Whether front-line or in the office, everyone played a valuable role,” he said in a press release.

“TransLink’s ridership has reached unprecedented levels and despite our enormous growth, we’ve also managed to achieve an all-time high for customer satisfaction.

“I’m extremely proud of our team and the outcomes we’ve achieved.”

Desmond also penned an open letter to customers, thanking them for their ongoing support.

APTA was particularly impressed by TransLink’s performance between 2016 and 2018, a period which saw a ridership growth of 18 per cent and record-highs in on-time performance.

Paul P. Skoutelas, CEO and APTA President congratulated TransLink on the award and labelled the transit provider “a role model for the rest of the public transportation industry.”

“In the past three years, TransLink’s ambitious plan to expand service and upgrade its infrastructure succeeded,” he said.

“With a phenomenal ridership growth of 18 percent and new highs for on-time performance, it’s not surprising that customer satisfaction is at a record level.”

Words of congratulations flowed from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, B.C. Premier John Horgan and transportation industry professionals.

“Canadians have developed a reputation for exemplifying leadership in innovation, sustainability and technology. The Government of Canada continues to be an active partner in helping to deliver this world-class system and celebrates TransLink’s outstanding achievement,” Trudeau said.

Stephen Cornish, CEO, David Suzuki Foundation, said the award was “well deserved.”

“Better transit is an important climate solution,” he said. “Transit ridership in Metro Vancouver has never been higher because all levels of government made significant investments and TransLink expanded its service.”

Even Francesco Aquilini, Owner of the Vancouver Canucks, chimed in to congratulate TransLink.

“Thousands of fans rely on our excellent transit system to get to and from hockey games,” Aquilini said.

“On behalf of everyone in the Canucks family, we congratulate TransLink on their outstanding achievement. It’s no surprise that they’ve just won this prestigious transit award.”

APTA is a non-profit association of more than 1,500 public and private sector member organizations. It is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.

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