Average B.C. commute is 26 minutes: census

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

Average B.C. commute is 26 minutes: census

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

Ashley Durance, seen here on Nov. 25, 2020 with her four-year-old daughter Hazel, recently released The Adventures of Mabel Mouse. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack cancer patient writes children’s book inspired by daughter with medical complexities

Ashley Durance released ‘The Adventures of Mabel Mouse’ the day before her daughter’s fourth birthday

LEFT: Krista Macinnis, with a red handprint across her face that symbolizes the silencing of First Nations people, displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
RIGHT: Abbotsford School District Kevin Godden says the district takes responsibility for the harm the assignment caused.
Abbotsford school district must make amends for harmful residential school assignment: superintendent

‘The first step is to unreservedly apologize for the harm … caused to our community’: Kevin Godden

A new Sardis secondary school logo designed by a former student, Jason Roberts. (Facebook photo)
Chilliwack’s Sardis secondary unveils new logo done in Coast Salish style

The new-look Falcon is meant strengthen connections between Indigenous students and their school

Elissa McLaren broke her left elbow in the Sept. 20, 2020 collision. (Submitted)
Victims of fatal crash on Prest Road in Chilliwack asking for help leading up to Christmas

‘This accident has taken a larger toll financially, mentally and physically than originally intended’

Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld (left) and former BCTF president Glen Hansman (right).
BC Court of Appeal left to walk tightrope of freedom of expression in Neufeld-Hansman case

Is defamation lawsuit aimed at stifling free expression or does the defamation hinder free speech?

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Despite rumours, Surrey RCMP say they are not issuing tickets to people if they are driving in a vehicle with others from a different household. (File photo)
COVID-19 tickets: No, RCMP aren’t checking vehicle occupancies, restaurant tables

Enforcement about education, not punishment says Surrey RCMP Cpl. Joanie Sidhu

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Most Read