More shunning solitary drive,census shows
New census data released yesterday shows more Toronto-area commuters are starting to shun a solitary drive in favour of carpooling, transit, walking and biking. More of us are travelling as passengers in cars — 7.5 per cent, up from 6.27 per cent — while only 63.6 per cent of commuters reported driving cars, down about 2 percentage points from 2001.
But while we may be looking for alternatives, the Statistics Canada numbers show only about a 1 per cent increase in transit use in many municipalities bordering Toronto.
That’s in keeping with the national average. But across the much larger Toronto census metropolitan area, where 71.1 per cent of commuters drive to work, transit use declined very slightly in 2006, by less than half of 1 per cent.
"I think the messages out of the census are: We need to invest more in public transit because people are being forced to use their cars because they simply don’t have the choice," said Rob MacIsaac, chair of Metrolinx, the Toronto region’s transportation planning agency.
"And to some extent, it’s a reality check. Even in the best possible future, the car’s going to remain an important part of our transportation system."