On-Site Magazine

Toronto’s preference: Public transit over driving

By Adam Freill   

Construction Infrastructure

Hitachi Rail study finds four in five Torontonians support investing in public transport over driving in their city.

(Photo courtesy of Hitachi Rail)

Despite the car being their most important means of commuting, Toronto residents would much prefer to be taking public transit. According to the results from a recent survey commissioned by Hitachi Rail, some 80 per cent of Torontonians back investing in public transport over driving.

Those surveyed indicated that the public transport system is more convenient than driving, and almost one-third expect to use the train more in the next five years.

The research was part of a global survey carried out by SavantaComres that collected data from 12,000 people in 12 different cities around the world, including 1,000 residents of Toronto.

While 66 per cent of the Toronto residents polled see their car as their core transportation option, half reported their commutes also involve public transport.


The majority were also clear that they find public transport more convenient than driving. Only 37 per cent think the opposite. A slim majority of city residents (53 per cent) also indicated support for increased road user charges to fund public transport.

According to those polled, the convenience of the public transit service has the most influence on their choice of transportation mode, both in terms of frequency of service and accessibility. Personal safety also ranked highly, cited by 91 per cent of respondents.

Potential passengers are also most likely to be put off using public transport because of crowding on services. Hitachi Rail also shared that four-in-five respondents said they would use public transport more if they knew it offered the fastest journey time and they could avoid overcrowding.

“Our research highlights that twice as many Torontonians find public transport convenient than those that find driving to be so. This is a real boost for green travel in the city and is backed up by Torontonians overwhelmingly supporting more investment in public transport over driving,” stated Joseph Pozza, President of Hitachi Rail, North America. “The data highlights that people are prepared to use public transport even more if we can increase speed and capacity on services.”

Hitachi Rail is part of the Connect 6ix consortium, which is building the new Ontario Line, a high-frequency rapid transit service with trains running as frequently as every 90 seconds through the heart of Toronto. The consortium says the line will have the ability to move up to 30,000 people per hour in each direction, enhancing public transit capacity and connectivity.

“The transformational line will boost capacity and journey speeds and help deliver seamless and sustainable travel across the city,” added Pozza.




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