Public Transit: Smarter, but not faster

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In Canada, using public transportation helps you save money, reduce pollution, and lessen congestion.  But while it may be the most sensible way to travel, it’s certainly not the fastest.

According to the latest data from Statistics Canada, commuters who traveled using public transit took longer to get to work on average compared to those who drove in a car.

The data, which is based on commuting information from the 2011 National Household Survey, revealed that people who used a private vehicle spent an average of 23.7 minutes travelling to work compared to 40.4 minutes for bus riders, 44.6 minutes for subway users, and 52.5 minutes for streetcar passengers.

So given the fact that those who commute by car have significantly shorter commutes than those who commute by public transit, why would one opt for a mode of travel with longer travel times?

The challenge in Canada, especially in large cities such as Toronto, is to make public transportation more efficient, reliable, and accessible. This will eliminate the need for building new roads and parking lots, both of which take up vast amounts of space and public resources.

In its current state, public transit is an invaluable tool for economic prosperity in large Canadian cities – delivering millions of workers to their place of employment in downtown cores.

But significant investments and improvements in the public transportation system could help reduce travel times and make it a more attractive way of getting around, even for people like you and I.

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