Monday, May 13, 2013

How Does Congestion Affect the Choice of Taking Transit or Private Vehicle to Work?

From Canada’s keeper of national statistics comes an analysis of commuting times in cities. Most Canadians choose to drive to work in cars and the commuting times are less than from using public transit. At the same time, dissatisfaction with the delays caused by congestion is much greater from car commuters than transit users and this dissatisfaction increases with the time or distance travelled. Reducing congestion (and commuting times) therefore is a goal worth pursuing in developing improved forms of public transit and encouraging drivers to use it. Although not mentioned in the report, congestion charging appears to be the solution waiting to be exploited from this aspect- as several large cities in other countries have found out.

commuting and congestion

Key Quotes:

“The larger and more populous the region, the longer it takes to get to work.. average commuting time was longest (30 minutes) in the six largest census metropolitan areas (areas with at least 1 million residents : Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, Ottawa– Gatineau , Calgary and Edmonton)… the two most populous—Toronto and Montréal—have the longest commuting times (33 minutes and 31 minutes respectively).”

 “in the six largest metropolitan areas, car users took an average of 27 minutes to get to work, while public transit users took 44 minutes.”

 “the use of public transit involves walking, waiting and sometimes traffic congestion, it is not surprising that commuting times are generally longer for public transit users”

“Workers in the greatest metropolitan areas are more likely to experience traffic congestion daily on their way to work (Table 2). In the Toronto CMA, 29% of full-time workers were caught in traffic jams every day of the week, compared with 26% of their counterparts in Montréal and 25% of full-time workers in Vancouver”

“satisfaction with commuting times was high: 39% said they were very satisfied with the amount of time it took to get to work, and another 46% said they were satisfied. This leaves 15% of workers who were dissatisfied with the amount of time required to travel to work.”

“of the 10.6 million car users, just over 2 million felt that public transit would be convenientfor them, while about 8.3 million thought it would be somewhat or very inconvenient”
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