Renters & Commute Times

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In a previous post dated August 5, 2020, I compared the percentage of households which are renting to the percentage of workers who use public transit to commute in Ontario’s ten largest cities and ten selected smaller cities. In this post, I add commute duration (measured as the percentage of workers who spend an hour or more commuting to the workplace from home).

In my previous post, I pointed out that percentage public transit use appears to correlate strongly with population, but that the percentage of households renting has no apparent correlation to either population or percentage public transit use.

What about commute duration?

I think the chart shows that the percentage of workers who commute for an hour or longer roughly tracks the percentage of workers using public transit for most cities, with the exceptions of the GTA cities and Georgina and Whitchurch-Stouffville. This probably reflects workers in the GTA using mass-transit (the GO Train system?) to commute into other areas of the GTA including Toronto. The rest of the cities in the chart are not located anywhere near Toronto and their workers are commuting locally, hence the relatively low percentage of workers with long commutes.

What’s much more interesting, I think, is that commute duration appears to be negatively correlated with the percentage of households renting, with the exception of Toronto (and I suppose, Orillia and Stratford too). In other words, where the percentage of households renting is high the percentage of workers with long commutes is almost always low, and vice versa. This suggests to me that it’s homeowners, not renters, who are commuting for longer durations, although I want to emphasize that this observation needs further study beyond this chart to be sure.