Average B.C. commute is 26 minutes: census

British Columbians are putting a priority on affordable living costs over time spent on the road

Whether it’s suffering through gridlock or driving on vast open highways, British Columbians spend more time commuting to and from work than most Canadians, census numbers show.

The time it typically takes a B.C. commuter to get to work is part of the latest portion of 2016 census data, released Wednesday by Statistics Canada.

On average, it takes a B.C. resident 25.9 minutes to get to work. That’s compared to 10 minutes for someone in Nunavut and 28.8 minutes for someone in Ontario – the longest commute time by province.

Earlier census numbers have illustrated how growth in the suburbs is being fuelled by rising home prices in major urban centres, particularly in the Lower Mainland. While residents look to more affordable housing on the outskirts, they in turn have to deal with longer travel times.

Avoiding a commute – if possible – is also an option for some, with 8.5 per cent of people reporting they work from home. That’s compared to the Canadian average of 7.4 per cent.

But for those who do leave their home for work, Wednesday’s data suggest British Columbians are willing to put a priority on seeking more sustainable living costs over time spent on the road.

Public transit, car pooling popular options in B.C.

The data also detailed habits on commuting using what’s called sustainable transportation, such as public transit, carpooling, walking or cycling – anything that isn’t one person using one car to get around.

In B.C., 13 per cent of people use public transit to get to and from work – above the national average of 12 per cent. About 12 per cent carpool. Another seven per cent walk to work, while 2.5 per cent ride a bike.

Victoria had the most commuters using sustainable transportation, at 38.8 per cent. Another about 10 per cent each rely on public transit and walking. About 6.5 per cent cycled.

In smaller metropolitan areas, like the Fraser Valley or Kelowna, car pooling was a more viable option compared to public transit systems that aren’t often linked to outside communities.

Abbotsford and Mission residents carpool the most – roughly 16 per cent – with almost one-third commuting to Vancouver and four per cent heading to Chilliwack.

In Kelowna, 15 per cent of commuters rely on public transit or carpooling to get to work.

Public transportation does come at a cost, however. In Vancouver, where 20 per cent of people use the bus, SkyTrain or Seabus, it took an average of about 45 minutes to get to work, compared to 27 minutes by car.

CANADIAN CENSUS: B.C.’s commuter times
Infogram

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services douses house fire Aug. 7

Investigators say probable cause was an unattended barbecue

UFO trackers set their sights on Revelstoke skies

Rob Freeman UFO World Explorer and crew went up Sale Mountain

Updated: Molotov cocktails thrown at Revelstoke home in arson attempt

The flames were extinguished before they spread. Two men have been arrested.

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

No new COVID-19 cases in Kelowna over the weekend

Kelowna has nine of the Interior Health region’s 13 active cases

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

West Kelowna woman upset with RCMP response to street brawl

A physical altercation between a group of teens and a group of adults erupted on a West Kelowna street Sunday evening

Kelowna real estate agent fined $6,500 for ‘misleading’ website

The website listed several services its owner was not licensed to provide

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Most Read