This morning on the way into town with my Mom, CHOM 97.7 was citing a recent study saying that Montreal had the lowest growth rate for public transportation users of all 60 Canadian cities surveyed. I feel certain that this is a misrepresentation of the usage of the transit system by Montrealers and hereby investigate the matter as a matter of civic pride.
The annual report of the STM provides a nice chart breaking down usage at the STM that i have included here for your perusal.
That’s 364.4 million rides for a population of 3.2 million (that pop. figure from the AMT website), or 113 rides per capita over a year.
Toronto only has 431.2 million rides for a population of 4.7 million, or 91.7 rides per capita. (see TTC operating stats).
On a typical day in Edmonton, ETS carries about 16 per cent of Edmonton’s population, or 120,000 people ( ETS info. In Montreal, according to the signs in the Metro, over a million users access the system every day…that’s 33%.
These figures may not mean much, but they actually set the standard for such cities as Melbourne. In a recent document entitled “Melbourne’s Future Transit Options,” Montreal’s level of public transit usage were used with those of Oslo and Copenhagen as goals to be achieved (page 11).
What have we learnt? Though Montreal may have a pretty stagnant public transport usage figure, perhaps the rest of Canada is playing catch-up. Don’t always believe the statistic presented by a radio announcer portrays a representative picture.