How Does Congestion Affect the Choice of Taking Transit or Private Vehicle to Work?


Commuting to work: Results of the 2010 General Social Survey(14 page pdf Martin Turcotte, Statistics Canada, Aug. 24, 2011)

From Canada’s keeper of national statistics comes an analysis of commuting times in cities. Most Canadians choose to drive to work in cars and the commuting times are less than from using public transit. At the same time, dissatisfaction with the delays caused by congestion is much greater from car commuters than transit users and this dissatisfaction increases with the time or distance travelled. Reducing congestion (and commuting times) therefore is a goal worth pursuing in developing improved forms of public transit and encouraging drivers to use it. Although not mentioned in the report, congestion charging appears to be the solution waiting to be exploited from this aspect- as several large cities in other countries have found out.

commuting and congestion

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click  HERE

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5 Responses

  1. Over the last decade or so, this concept has been extended to pedestrian trips — significant residential development on brownfield sites has enabled a lot more people to commute downtown on foot and has impacted the modal split at a statistically significant level. However this increased downtown residential population has also resulted in the development of reverse peak congestion on the downtown expressways, from new downtown residents commuting to suburban jobs that are more poorly served by transit.

    • Thanks for your note and bringing attention to the “reverse peak congestion” and the need for improved transit to address it

  2. Road pricing causes motorists to internalize the cost and impacts of driving, such as pollution and congestion. Pricing can affect commute choice, time of travel or route of travel. It also has the potential to reduce the number of vehicle trips. The higher cost of driving and use of revenue to fund transit can encourage mode shift.

  3. Over the last decade or so, this concept has been extended to pedestrian trips — significant residential development on brownfield sites has enabled a lot more people to commute downtown on foot and has impacted the modal split at a statistically significant level. However this increased downtown residential population has also resulted in the development of reverse peak congestion on the downtown expressways, from new downtown residents commuting to suburban jobs that are more poorly served by transit.

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