Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Stop the Presses: More transit = more riders

On April 2nd, Statistic Canada released Commuting Patterns and Places of Work of Canadians.

What I Learned

-From 2001 to 2006 the median distance traveled to work in Canadian metropolitan areas increased from 7.3 to 7.5km. Metro Vancouver was the only region in Canada to see no change in travel time (every other area saw an increase) and a decrease in the distance travel to work.

-From 1996 to 2006 only Metro Vancouver and Calgary saw sizable gains in transit to work mode share. Metro Vancouver saw a 2.2% increase while Calgary saw a 3% increase. Stats Canada attributed the growth in Calgary to the extension of its CTrain light rail. Vancouver built the Millennium Line SkyTrain in the same time period. It would seem that there is a connection between rail expansion and transit mode share.

-Victoria has the highest percent of people that walk and bike to work. Victoria also has a well developed cycling and walking network with the Galloping Goose/Lochside regional trail system.

-Surrey is one of Canada's fastest growing cities. It also saw the second largest percent growth of jobs in Canada. Sadly, Surrey was one of the least likely places for people to use transit. I wonder if it has something to do with the lack of buses and rail transit in the area.


If I was in charge of transportation in BC, I would invest in buses, rail, and bike lane; as well as support documents like the Livable Region’s Plan. Highways would come second because:

Compact Cities + Rail Transit + Buses = High Transit Usage

And isn't that what we all want?

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