Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New transit report card finds Montreal and Vancouver get “A” grades

Download the 2015 Transit Report Card of Major Canadian Regions.

Transit plays a critical role in the lives of people living in Canada’s urban centres. While many have strong opinions about how transit performs in their region, it is often based on anecdotal evidence. But do the facts tell another story?

Nathan Pachal, founder of South Fraser OnTrax and transportation commentator, with the help of urban planner Paul Hillsdon, decided it was time for Canadians to get the facts on transit performance in major regions.

Hillsdon collaborated with Pachal on the ground-break report “Leap Ahead – A transit plan for Metro Vancouver,” a pre-cursor to the transit plan that citizens in Metro Vancouver are currently voting on.

“In Metro Vancouver, for example, people think that TransLink one of worst transit agencies in Canada,” says Hillsdon. “I wanted to see if that was really the case.”

The 2015 Transit Report Card evaluates the services provided in the regions of Metro Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa-Gatineau, Greater Toronto and Hamilton, and Greater Montreal. The report card evaluates key performance metrics based on the most recent data compiled by the Canadian Urban Transit Association.

“What we found,” says Pachal, “was that transit performance across Canada’s major regions was fairly consistent, though there were some outliers.”

“Montreal stood out as the region with the most transit service hours delivered per capita. Because of this, it also has the highest passenger trips per capita and per service hour,” states Pachal. “This means that citizens in Greater Montreal have more access to transit service than any other major region in Canada.”

TransLink, the regional transit agency in Metro Vancouver, stood out among the pack as well. Transit service in Metro Vancouver covers wider distances than other regions. Metro Vancouver taxpayers also get the most bang for their buck, as transit capacity is balanced with demand better than anywhere elsewhere in Canada.

Greater Montreal was rated as the region with the highest transit performance, scoring an A+. Metro Vancouver received second place with an A grade.

“Other Canadian regions can look to Montreal and Vancouver which are leading the way in transit service performance,” says Pachal.

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