Car travel times in Toronto almost triple during peak of rush hour: report
City crews are on site directing traffic while eastbound Highway 7 remains closed following a water main break. (J.P. Moczulski/The Canadian Press)
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Thursday, December 10, 2015 5:07PM EST
The average car trip in Toronto can take nearly three times longer during rush hour than in low traffic periods, according to a new report released Thursday, giving it the worst rush hour traffic in the nation.
“Toronto experiences by far the largest traffic stretch of any Canadian city, with the typical route taking up to 2.8 times longer in the worst case than the free-flow trip,” bloggers Zack Gallinger and Arik Motskin wrote in their report, titled ‘How Bad is the Traffic Where You Live?’
Using data from Google Maps, Gallinger and Motskin developed a concept called the traffic stretch multiplier, which denotes how many times longer a car trip will take at the peak of rush hour versus the time in the day with the smallest amount of traffic.
For travel between the Beaches and High Park, Gallinger and Motskin say a drive during the worst of rush hour could take 45 minutes each way, but that same trip could take 18 minutes when traffic is at its lowest point.
While Toronto’s multiplier was 2.8, Montreal’s was 2.3 and Vancouver’s was 2. All other Canadian cities had multipliers of less than 2.
Gallinger and Motskin analysis took peak rush hour travel time and ideal travel times for one route linking each city’s downtown and its airport, a series of routes from suburban areas to employment-rich core areas, and a group of routes connecting popular tourist or cultural destinations in each city.
The traffic stretch multiplier was calculated by averaging the difference between worst-case and best-case travel times on each route.
They used Google Maps data from early October to make their calculations. Best-case travel times were predictably often in the middle of the night when most cars are off the road.