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

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

A Kelowna clinic decided to immunize their patients in a drive-thru flu clinic earlier this month. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Interior Health anticipates increase in flu vaccinations this season

Some 300,000 doses of flu vaccine ready for distribution across Southern Interior

Snowfall in the Okanagan shatters records. (Contributed)
Snowfall in Okanagan breaks records dated back to 1899

Penticton has received over 10 cm today, surpassing the 8 cm record set in 1957

Your Columbia River Revelstoke candidates; Nicole Cherlet (NDP); Samson Boyer (Green) and Doug Clovechok (BC Liberal)
Candidates’ messages: Columbia River Revelstoke

The Bulletin offered each candidate in Columbia River Revelstoke space to hold forth on issues important to them and to voters.

Earth from Space.
Morning Start: It would only take one hour to drive to space

Your morning start for Friday, Oct. 23, 2020

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Thanks to efforts by a Kelowna shelter and Elections BC, anyone who wishes to can vote in the 2020 BC Provincial Election, even if they don’t have a fixed address. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Kelowna group ensures people experiencing homelessness can vote

Shelter supervisor says voting ‘a fundamental right’ even for those without a fixed address

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
Big White receives 21 cm of snow in 24 hours

Resort’s snow base 41 cm deep, one month until opening day

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The deer were allegedly shot within Princeton town limits, late at night. Black Press File Photo.
Armed man, in full camouflage, allegedly shoots deer in downtown Princeton

‘The list of charges goes on and on,’ said RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Most Read