Commuting patterns combines the three primary modes of transportation that individuals use to commute to work; automobile use, public transportation and active transportation.
- Automobile use measures how many people take a car, truck or van to work.
- Public transit use measures the percentage of people who take the bus to get to work as their primary method.
- Active transportation measures how many people walk or bike to work.
Why This Matters
Transportation is an important part of how residents meet their basic needs. Dependence on cars has been shown to affect human and environmental well-being. Access to alternative forms of transportation such as biking, and walking can benefit an individual’s health and the environment. According to Statistics Canada (2006), motorized transportation produced nearly 75 per cent of Canada’s total carbon monoxide emissions in 2004. Studies have also shown that low-income residents may be more at risk for vehicle pollution-induced problems such as respiratory illnesses or certain cancers (Chakraborty, 2009).
This indicator is closely connected to the built environment. The attractiveness of different modes of transportation depends heavily on the design of transportation networks and urban planning (Ewing, Meakins, Bjarnson, & Hilton, 2011; Ewing & Cervero, 2001). How people are travelling is an important indicator for helping the Town to plan for different kinds of infrastructure that are needed to help people better meet their transportation needs.
Measurement and Limitations
The automobile use indicator shows the percentage of people who use an automobile (e.g., car, truck, van), either as a driver or passenger, to get to work. All members of the labour force aged 15 years and over who worked at some time over the previous year are included.
This indicator does not take into account individual variation in the mode of transportation taken to work. For instance, an individual who drives a car to work 60 per cent of the time and takes public transit 40 per cent of the time would only be recorded as commuting by automobile. This indicator also does not account for transportation used for outings not related to work.
Additionally, this indicator does not take into account differences in distance. An individual driving 5 km to work is not differentiated from an individual who drives 15 km.
Statistics Canada. 2017. Bridgewater, T [Census subdivision], Nova Scotia and Lunenburg, CTY [Census division], Nova Scotia (table). Census Profile. 2016 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-316-X2016001. Ottawa. Released November 29, 2017.
Links to historical data can be found here
Commuting Patterns in the Sustainable Development Goals
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11. Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, culture, science, productivity, social development and much more. At their best, cities have enabled people to advance socially and economically.
However, many challenges exist to maintaining cities in a way that continues to create jobs and prosperity while not straining land and resources. Common urban challenges include congestion, lack of funds to provide basic services, a shortage of adequate housing and declining infrastructure.
The challenges cities face can be overcome in ways that allow them to continue to thrive and grow, while improving resource use and reducing pollution and poverty. The future we want includes cities of opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.