Monday, August 29, 2011

Commute to Work Time in Metro Vancouver

Last week Statistics Canada released a report on commuting to work. While the mainstream media focused on how more people drive than take transit and how transit is generally slower than driving, big surprises, they missed some important details.

According to Statistics Canada the higher density a neighbourhood is, the shorter both car and transit commutes becomes. This shows yet again how low-density, auto-oriented development is an abject failure; it’s not even better for car commuters!

Of greater concern is the data on average commute time in the region. In 1992, the average commute time in Metro Vancouver was 70 minutes, this dropped to 68 minutes in 1998, and 67 minutes in 2005. We were the only large region in Canada to see decreases in commute time. In 2010, the average commute time increased to 74 minutes. We should be asking why this happened. Is all the new road infrastructure in Metro Vancouver actually causing commute times to increase? This wouldn’t surprise me. We have been designing regions around the auto since World War 2 and now more than ever, we have data to show it is a mistake. Why are we still building freeways if we know they don’t work? Why are we building suburbs when we know that they’re bad for social cohesion, health, and the environment? It time that we go back to the basics and design our regions around people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it’s sad that there aren’t enough people who commute by bike to be considered in this bar chart. I use a folding bike so I can take it on the train with me, perhaps more people should consider that option.