Thursday, September 22, 2011

How Stressful is Commuting by Public Transit?

Despite Toronto, Montreal gridlock, commuters reluctant to use transit (The Globe and Mail, Aug. 24, 2011)

Also discussed here: Compare Toronto's 80-minute commute with other major cities (The Globe and Mail, Mar. 25, 2011)

Today’s review article has a number of interesting statistics relating to Canadian commuters that help to explain why 4 out of 5 of them choose driving by car over public transit. The answer seems to be the additional stress perceived with transit and the convenience offered by cars. Changing that perception is the challenge for public transit promoters.

Key Quotes:

“[in Canada] 82 per cent of commuters travelled to work by car in 2010, while 12 per cent took public transit and six per cent walked or cycled”

“Of the 10.6 million workers who commuted by car, about 9 million reported that they had never used public transit for their commute.. About 7.4 million of these people thought public transit would be somewhat or very inconvenient”

Commuters who used public transit took considerably longer to get to work than those who lived an equivalent distance from their place of work and went by car..In the six largest cities, the average commuting time was 44 minutes for public transit users and 27 minutes by car.”

Public transit users were more likely than car commuters to be dissatisfied with their commuting times.. primarily because it takes them longer on average to get to work”

““the connection between commuting times and stress was clear..More than a third of those who took 45 minutes or more to travel to work said most days were quite or extremely stressful, compared with just 23 per cent of those travelling for less than 15 minutes”
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