Cars Being Used Less in Toronto

Some more information form the 2006 Canadian census has been released and it paints a green future for transportation in Toronto. The census asked how people get to work (car, walk, public transit, bike, etc.). In the city the younger one is, the more likely it is that one is taking a more green approach to getting to work.

Workers under the age of 25 in the Toronto region use public transit 30.8 per cent of the time, walk 9.5 per cent of the time and cycle 1.5 per cent of the time.

That’s a considerably higher reliance on environmentally friendly means of getting to work than the average commuter in the Toronto region, who commutes by public transit 22.2 per cent of the time, by foot 4.8 per cent of the time and by bike 1.0 per cent of the time.

Reliance on the car in the Toronto region seems to increase with the age of the commuter.

Commuters younger than 25 used a vehicle to get to work — either as a driver or a passenger — 57.2 per cent of the time. Those age 25-34 commuted by car 66.1 per cent of the time, and those 35 and over drove or were driven 75.8 per cent of the time.

What really stood out to me was that the desire to own a car is shrinking!

Owning a car used to be a rite of passage for young people, but environmental awareness in that generation has made gas guzzlers uncool, says Dan McDermott, director of Ontario’s chapter of the Sierra Club of Canada. The high cost of gasoline is another factor for those with limited incomes.

“The desire to own a car is diminishing for a number of reasons — environmental consciousness being high on that list,” said McDermott.

I’ve never understood why people want to own cars even if they don’t need one.

A Future Never Seen, who tries to remove people from their cars, has posted a great video from 1958 Disney animation studio. As you can imagine, Disney’s futuristic vision for the car is quite dreamy, far fetched and would just be inconceivable considering todays energy situation. Heated highways, tubes and vast sprawl are all promoted in this movie and I for one would like to take a moment and celebrate that not all things turned out the way Disney predicted.

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