Torontonians Are Spending Over 350 Hours Commuting Every Year And That's More Than Any Other City In The World
This story was originally published on September 26.
Toronto is a city of commuters. Thanks to Toronto's increasingly unaffordable housing market, most people work in Toronto but don't actually live there. This means every morning and afternoon, all the highways, trains, and buses coming into the city are always packed.
But, how much time are we actually spending commuting? The total amount that we spend sitting in traffic or stuck on a train might concern you.
A recent study done by Expert Market, a UK based organization, found that Torontonians spend 96 minutes commuting every day, on average. If you add it up, assuming the average worker is commuting at least 235 days of the year (factoring weekends and holidays) that's a total of 376 hours every year spent in transit.
To make matters worse, the study also found that Toronto's commute is not only long, but it's complex too. They found that 73% of people who use public transit to commute have to transfer at least once from one bus, train, or subway to another on their way to work. They also found that the average waiting time for public transit in Toronto is 14 minutes.
In determining the worst and best commutes, the study also factored in how much it costs to commute every day. For this category, the city actually did ok, with Torontonians spending on average 6.5% of their monthly income on transit.
The study looked at 74 cities around the world, and as you might suspect by now, Toronto didn't fare very well. In fact, it was the 6th worst city in the world for commuting and the 96-minute average trip landed Toronto in second place, just barely, for longest commute.
In first place for the longest commute, by only one minute more was Bogata, Columbia, with 97 minutes as the average. As for the overall standings, places you may expect like LA or New York didn't even crack the top 10 worst list. Instead, Rio De Janeiro is the worst, while Bogota and Sao Paulo rounded out the top three.
As for the world's best commutes, those would be Nice, France, Cuenca, Ecuador, and Bilbao, Spain.
Toronto didn't just stack up poorly internationally, but also at home. According to data from the 2016 Canadian census, the average Canadian spent 26.2 minutes commuting one way, for a total of 52 minutes every day. It's worth noting that this data is over three years old, so a lot has changed. But, even then Toronto didn't rank well.
In 2016, the average Toronto commuter reportedly spent 68 minutes commuting every day, 15 minutes more than the rest of Canada. The second highest commute time was Oshawa, Ontario with approximately 63 minutes followed by Barrie, Ontario with around 61-minute average commutes.
As for the best commutes out of Canada's largest cities, the winner is Lethbridge, Alberta, where the average commuter spent only 33.6 minutes in transit every day in 2016 - a roundtrip total that is shorter than a one-way commute for a Torontonian.
Other Canadian cities with shorter commute times were Moncton, NB, Thunder Bay, ON, Saguenay, QC, and Regina, Saskatoon, all with daily commutes under 40 minutes.
If the 376 hours of your life gone every year isn't enough to make you mad about your commute, also know that a report released by CAA in 2017 found that on average, Canada's worst traffic jams, including of course the gridlocks and bottlenecks of Toronto, lead to a total of 11.5 million hours of delays per year in Canada. On top of that, they also reported that traffic led to 22 million litres of wasted gas in Canada every year.
So, while you're stuck in traffic on the 401 today or delayed on the GO Train, you can think not only about the 376 hours - or 15 days - of your life wasted every year, but all the money being wasted, too. Maybe it's time to seriously consider moving to Lethbridge, Alberta.