Residents of Metro Vancouver may have shorter commutes than their Montreal and Toronto counterparts, but compared to the rest of B.C., they are spending much more time in traffic, on buses and generally getting to and from work every day.
The average daily commute for the Vancouver census metropolitan area, which includes White Rock, Maple Ridge and UBC, is 29.7 minutes one-way — or almost an hour daily. That's less than the 30 and 34-minute one-way commutes endured by the average worker in Montréal and Toronto, respectively, but it's also up from the 28.4 minute average commute time in Metro Vancouver in 2011.
It's also more than any other census agglomeration or census metropolitan area in B.C. — sometimes significantly so.
For example, when compared to the Abbotsford-Mission region, Metro Vancouverites spend an average of 7.2 extra minutes commuting every day. That jumps to 19.8 minutes more when compared to Kelowna, 22.6 minutes more than those in Prince George and a whopping 36.2 minutes more than commuters in Prince Rupert, the region with the shortest commute time overall.
When expanded to a 252 working day year, that means the average worker in Prince Rupert has a full six days extra to themselves compared to their Metro Vancouver counterparts (the median household income of Prince Rupert is also $758 higher than Metro Vancouver).
Vancouver, Victoria least vehicle dependent regions
That said, the method of getting to work in Vancouver is also quite different from those in other parts of the province. While 20.4 per cent of commuters in Metro Vancouver are using public transit, that number is just 10.9 per cent in Victoria and less than five per cent everywhere else.
The five most vehicle-dependent census agglomerations or census metropolitan areas in B.C. are Fort St. John (92.6 per cent), Abbotsford-Mission (92.5 per cent), Quesnel (92.5 per cent), Prince George (92.3 per cent) and Chilliwack (90.8 per cent).
The five least vehicle dependent areas are Vancouver (69.3 per cent), Victoria (69.8 per cent), Nelson (75.9 per cent), Penticton (83.2 per cent) and Prince Rupert (83.7 per cent).
Time spent commuting
Here are the average one-way commute times, in minutes, for every census agglomeration and census metropolitan area in B.C.:
British Columbia: 25.9
Campbell River: 21.9
Port Alberni: 19.3
Williams Lake: 18.7
Prince George: 18.4
Fort St. John: 16.5
Powell River: 16
Salmon Arm: 15.6
Dawson Creek: 14.9
Prince Rupert: 11.6
Written by: Tara Carman