While you may have great radio presets or a fancy Bluetooth, if you’re commuting to work in Toronto, it’s likely the most frustrating part of your day and even the best iPod playlist in the world does little to mitigate the sheer boredom of the entire ordeal.
According to a Statistics Canada survey released this week, Toronto’s commute time — both by car and by public transit — is the worst in the country. Surprise, surprise.
On average it takes Torontonians 29 minutes to commute to work by car in the GTA and 49 minutes by public transit. When all modes of transportation are considered at once (car, bike, feet, transit), the average one-way journey to work takes 33 minutes in the GTA.
The Stats Canada study is based on 2010 data from the general social survey on time use.
Montrealais and Vancouverites also can complain quite legitimately. In Montreal the average commute takes 31 minutes, while in Vancouver commuters do a standard 30 minute trek to and from work.
Is there any relief in sight for Torontonians who must endure this oppressive commute twice a day? Not really… More than 70 per cent of Torontonians currently drive to work and the Toronto Board of Trade is warning of a “carmageddon” in 20 years when it predicts that 1 million more cars (!!) will be on GTA roads.
The obvious answer is to improve public transit commute times in order to encourage commuters to leave their cars at home, but if the most recent Toronto mayoral race taught us anything, it’s that there’s no consensus as to how this should be accomplished.
According to the Toronto Board of Trade’s analysis, only 28.8 per cent of Toronto’s commuters walk, bike or take transit to work, placing the T-Dot 11th out of 22 cities worldwide.
That’s not too bad, but there are those out there who think we can and should try to do better! Many point to New York City’s enviable alt-transportation commute record, with 40.3 per cent of people choosing an alternative to driving. And of course, there’s Hong Kong where nine out of ten workers decide against driving.
It’s unfair to compare Toronto to these mega-world cities. A little like apples and oranges if you ask us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from the oranges in order to make our apple a little more pleasant.
For the moment, it looks like we’ll have to just suck it up, make an awesome iPod rush hour playlist, and hope that someday the Toronto (and Montreal and Vancouver) commute becomes more manageable.