Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Toronto Versus Vancouver : Transit Comparison

A closer look in depth look at Vancouver Transit as well as a deeper look at Toronto Transit. Both cities have above average transit usage. That being said, the transit usage rates for Toronto are about close to what they were when we had a proper census.

 The Vancouver numbers seem a bit overstated as the region was just at 16% in the last census, which was already a good jump. I can't see it rising to almost 20% already, considering very little additional transit expansion has happened since the Canada Line. Second, this data is for work trips. Vancouver has vastly lower off peak non work related transit usage than Toronto, something the city can improve by improving frequencies and service to outlying area.

This partly stems from the very poor frequency of bus service in most of suburban Vancouver in off peak hours. Buses every 30 - 60 minutes just does not attract many people to transit. The truth is Canadians don't really know what traffic is. Vancouver could actually improve it's transit usage with a bit better off peak service to serve the periphery of the city.

Average commute times show that commuting is really not that long. In a place like Toronto where the commute is supposed to be hell, the average one way commute to work is in the 30 - 40 minute range, considering the size of Toronto and the great area it spans, it is actually not really a long commute time.

 And that high commute time is also due partly to high transit usage rates, and as much as I love transit, the truth is most transit commuters face vastly longer commutes than if they drove to work. So high transit usage rates drive up commute times. You see this in NYC, Tokyo, and other transit rich cities.

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