Transit ridership continues to decline, hits 5 year low

Halifax Transit released its quarterly Key Performance Indicator report. The report contains ridership figures for Q4 of FY2017-18 (January 1 – March 31 2017).

Notable figures include:

  • A 2.5% decline in ridership compared to the same time last year
  • A 1% decrease in ferry ridership
  • A 3% increase in Access-A-Bus ridership

It’s worth noting that this represents a 5-year low in 4th quarter transit ridership. The highest reported ridership figure was recorded in Q4 of FY2012-13. Since then, transit ridership has continued to decline in the fourth quarter (with the exception of FY2015-16).

Halifax Transit doesn’t report annual ridership figures, but we pulled the data from previous years’ reports. This fiscal year also represents a 5 year low in annual ridership.

Annual Transit Ridership by Quarter (millions of people)
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Annual
FY2012-13 4.43 4.51 5.28 5.14 19.36
FY2013-14 4.61 4.71 5.36 5.08 19.76
FY2014-15 4.58 4.65 5.29 4.94 19.46
FY2015-16 4.6 4.61 5.28 5.01 19.5
FY2016-17 4.49 4.64 5.14 4.88 19.15


It’s worth noting that Halifax Transit is changing the way it counts riders. According to the report, Automated Passenger Count technology is expected to be implemented in Q1 of FY2017-2018, which means by next quarter, we should have a more accurate picture of how well transit is used.

The two reasons Halifax Transit gives for the decline in ridership:

  • Snow Days
  • The Big Lift


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