Last year, Metro Vancouver's transportation authority received a total of 36,390 complaints, up from 32,617 in 2012.
The number of transit-related complaints went up about 10 percent, to 31,595 in 2013 from 28,408 in the previous year.
The report notes that the ratio of complaints per 1,000,000 boarded passengers rose to 88.9 from 78.2.
Why? "Some of the key reasons for this increase include: changes to the Fare Tariff policy that saw elimination of longstanding fare programs (WCE monthly and weekly passes, Employer Pass Program), a technical issue for SkyTrain in October that caused significant delays for customers, service optimization changes and a controversial advertising campaign that ran on the TransLink system," the report states.
Transit service and ridership both decreased in 2013. Service hours were tightened to 6.792 million from 6.927 million. Boarded passengers declined to 355.2 million from 363.2 million.
By the way, of the transit-related complaints, 28,494 pertained to the Coast Mountain Bus Company, 1,526 to HandyDART, 599 to the West Coast Express, 551 to the Expo and Millenium lines, and 425 to the Canada Line. (CMBC operates the SeaBus.)
Regarding the Coast Mountain Bus Company, a little more than half of complaints related to staff and a third to service.
As for TransLink's customer service performance ratings, this is what the report says about the transit system: "In 2013, six out of ten transit riders, or 60 per cent, gave the system good-to-excellent scores of 8, 9 or 10 out of 10 for overall service. This is down from 2012 (63 per cent) suggesting that overall perceptions of service quality have declined.
"Similar to 2012, the transit system service attributes that customers are most critical of include: the amount of transit information available at stops and stations and on-board buses; as well as the number of bus shelters available throughout the region. Less than half of customers consistently rate these aspects of transit service as being good to excellent (8 or higher out of 10). In addition, less than half (44 per cent) of TransLink’s customers feel they are getting good-to-excellent value for the money they spend on transit, this also is down slightly from 2012 (48 per cent)."
TransLink can look forward to more complaints in 2014 with the delayed rollout of the Compass card system.