Toronto is 6th worst city for commuting, study finds
If you’ve ever had to drive across the city of Toronto or catch a bus in town, you’ll likely agree with a new finding: Toronto truly has one of the worst commutes in the world.
A new study ranks Toronto commuting not just the worst in the country, but the sixth worst in the world.
The study, which comes from a B2B comparison site called Expert Market, looked at 74 cities with population sizes of 300,000 or more.
The researchers looked at several factors, including:
- average time spent commuting each day as well as average journey distance
- average time waiting for a bus or a train
- average cost of a monthly transit card as a percentage of average net monthly salary
- percentage of transit users needing to make at least one transfer in a journey
When the scores were added up, Toronto placed 69th in the list of 74.
The key reason? The sheer length of the ride or drive.
The average Toronto worker spends an average of 96 minutes a day commuting -- the second longest time in the list.
The average time Toronto transit users spend waiting for a bus or a train is 14 minutes -- not all that bad compared to some of the cities with the worst commutes.
But the study found that very few of those rides are direct, with 73 per cent of commuters needing to make at least one transfer during a single journey. Never a lot of fun in the winter, as any Canadian transit user will tell you.
Downtown congestion is a serious problem, but the issue is more acute in areas outside Toronto’s core that don’t have reliable transit, says Iain Dobson, a transit expert with Strategic Regional Research Alliance.
“We need to give a seamless choice for commuters in the morning who get up, look at their options and say, ‘Well, this is as convenient as driving my car, I’ll take it,” Dobson told CTV Toronto.
To encourage people to take transit, options that don’t require multiple transfers need to be available, Dobson says.
“At the end of the day, these corridors have to look like surface subways,” he said.
It’s a solution that the province’s next premier says he’s ready to tackle. Premier-designate Doug Ford said he will expand and improve transit systems in Toronto and across Ontario.
“We’re going to build rapid, underground transit that’s going to extend not only in Toronto, but we’re the first government that’s going to run a regional transportation system,” he said.
As an example, Ford cited that people in Pickering will be able to “hop on the subway and get to downtown Toronto.”
Ford did not give a timeline for the plan or explain how he’d pay for it.
The only cities that fared worse overall than Toronto were three cities in Brazil (Rio De Janeiro, ranked dead last, Sao Paulo, and Salvador), as well as Bogota, Colombia, and Istanbul, Turkey.
Even Miami, London, and Los Angeles fared better in the rankings, thanks to cheaper transit passes and shorter travel times.
The best city for travel was Nice, in the south of France. There, workers spend an average of just 40 minutes a day travelling back and forth to work, and only 22 hours a year stuck in traffic jams.
The city’s transport network is also an excellent value, with workers paying just 1.25 per cent of their monthly salary on average for a transit pass.
Toronto Mayor John Tory’s office said in a statement to CP24 that while there is “still lots to do on traffic and safety,” efforts are underway to reduce gridlock across the city.
"Mayor Tory is focused on building transit and getting our city moving so that Toronto residents - regardless of whether they ride transit, cycle, walk or drive - can have a better commute,” the statement says.
10 best cities for commuters
- Nice, France
- Cuenca, Ecuador
- Bilbao, Spain
- Toulouse, France
- Catania, Italy
- Bari, Italy
- Lyon, France
- Bologna, Italy
- Strasbourg, France
- Leicester, U.K.
10 worst cities for commuters
- Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
- Bogota, Colombia
- Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Salvador, Brazil
- Toronto, Canada
- Brasilia, Brazil
- Cali, Colombia
- Miami, U.S.
- London, U.K.