Most Canadians choose an environmentally friendly commute

Canada ranks 15th out of 28 countries for public transit use

Biking, walking, carpooling and taking public transit to work all help Canadians reduce rising carbon emissions and traffic congestion. More than half (64 per cent) of Canadians use public transit to get to work, according to the Kelly Global Workforce Index, an international survey commissioned by staffing firm Kelly Services.

“With Earth Day just around the corner, it is important to recognize the vital role public transportation plays in our society,” said Karin French, vice-president of Kelly Services. “Not only is public transit essential for transporting the workforce, but it is also a large contributor to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion.”

When asked what single factor would encourage greater use of public transit, 36 per cent of the 10,000 Canadian respondents stated more convenient access, followed by more frequent services and lower prices, both at 18 per cent. Other factors such as improved comfort and better safety were not found to greatly persuade commuters’ use of public transit.

Other findings from Kelly Services’ international workplace survey include:

• Public transportation is available to 81 per cent of respondents; however, 36 per cent of Canadians choose to use a private motor vehicle to travel to work.

• Respondents younger than 20 years of age were most likely to use public transit – 74 per cent – compared with respondents between 45-54 years of age – the least likely to use public transit at 61 per cent.

• Lower transit prices are more likely to encourage public transit use in younger workers, with 21 per cent of workers younger than 24 years of age stating lower prices would affect use of public transit compared to 12 per cent of those 45 years of age or older.

• Sixty-seven per cent of Saskatchewan respondents believe that public transit is a viable choice of transportation to and from work – the lowest in the country.

• While 83 per cent of respondents in Nova Scotia believe they have access to public transportation, 42 per cent of respondents prefer to use a private motor vehicle to travel to work.

“The survey data demonstrates that most Canadians prefer to use public transit rather than drive on their own,” said French. “But if the system is inaccessible or too costly, commuters feel they are left with little choice and opt to drive on their own.”

Canada’s use of public transit was moderate by international standards, ranking 15th out of 28 countries. Public transportation is most commonly used in Asia with 93 per cent of Indonesian respondents using public transit, followed by those in Hong Kong at 88 per cent. Respondents in Turkey (29 per cent) and the United States (34 per cent) were the least likely to use public transit.

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