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toronto commute time

Toronto has one of the longest commute times in North America and it's getting worse

Toronto is not by any means an accessible city to get around — not for drivers, not for Uber riders, not for cyclists, and certainly not for public transit users.

But, unless you live within walking distance of work, you have little choice other than the above methods of transportation for getting around this notoriously difficult-to-get-around place.

Because driving (and parking) in downtown Toronto during rush hour is more frustrating than accidentally biting your own tongue, again and again and again, many commuters (especially during the winter months) rely on buses, streetcars and subway trains to get to and from the office every day.

In theory, it's the smartest thing to do; public transit is designed, after all, to be cheap, reliable, efficient and accessible to everyone.

In practice... it can be rough.

New data released this morning shows that the Greater Toronto Area is failing in public transportation compared to other North American cities, and that our transit woes have only worsened over the past few years.

Moovit, a global urban mobility solutions provider, released said data as part of its 2022 Global Public Transport Report.

Composed of "big data analyzed from tens of millions of trip requests performed by Moovit app users, coupled with user research in 99 cities across 24 countries," the report shows that Toronto has the longest distance per commute in North America, based on trips taken via TTC, GO Transit and other regional transportation providers.

This means that we travel farther using public transit than anyone else on the continent (about 12.29 km per trip on average.)

That's not necessarily a bad thing, given how big the city is, but the amount of time passengers spend waiting for TTC and GO Transit vehicles to get where they're going is less than desirable.

Torontonians endure the third longest commutes in North America, according to Moovit, with an average of 56 minutes spent getting from point A to point B per trip between walk, wait, and travel times.

This is up from an average of 52 minutes in 2020.

"Almost three years ago, COVID very quickly disrupted people's travel habits and urban congestion plunged," said the company's CMO, Yovav Meydad, in a release announcing the findings on Tuesday.

"Moovit's report shows that in 2022 people ventured around their cities once again, but are experiencing less efficient commutes."

Ridership is starting to bounce back post-pandemic, but the TTC continues to see some 30 per cent fewer passengers than it did before the health crisis. This has resulted in less fare money for a transit agency that desperately needs every cent it can get just to keep itself moving.

Moovit suggests that the cost of riding public transit may be preventing some people from ditching their cars in favour of a more sustainable solution, writing in the report that "lower cost fares is the top reason Canadians say would encourage them to use public transit more often."

One surprising finding is that Toronto is on the shorter side of wait times compared to other North American cities.

People waited for 12 minutes, on average, to access a Toronto public transit vehicle in 2022, while those in Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles experienced wait times of 21 minutes, 19 minutes and 18 minutes, respectively.

It's not clear how many of the TTC's all-too-regular shutdowns, outagesdetoursdelays and instances of dangerous overcrowding were factored into that figure.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture


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