For one in four Canadians, the two-way commute takes more than 90 minutes, and it's getting worse —Maclean's Andrew Coyne has a solution
TORONTO, January 6, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Traffic. Immobilizing, enervating, infuriating traffic. Whether it's the Armdale Rotary in Halifax, the Autoroute Décarie in Montreal, Toronto's "Don Valley Parking Lot" or B.C. Lower Mainland's Port Mann bridge, Canadians are not imagining it: traffic is getting worse.
Statistics Canada reports the average time spent commuting to and from work nationwide increased from 54 minutes in 1992 to 63 minutes in 2005. In a year, that adds up to about 32 working days spent sitting in traffic. And that's the average. In Calgary, it's 66 minutes; in Vancouver, 67; in Toronto and Montreal, it's now up to nearly 80 minutes a day. And statistically, that's among the worst cities in the world.
The price is high for this congestion: wasted time, excess fuel consumption, greenhouse gases and risks to personal health, among other costs.
So what's the answer? Maclean's national editor Andrew Coyne examines strategies both here and abroad. What he suggests is a model that is being tested in various cities around the globe, with promising results.
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