Moovit’s Global Public Transport Report shows impacts of COVID-19 on Canadian transit

The report includes data on Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

Moovit app on the App Store

Moovit, the company behind a smartphone transit app of the same name, released its annual Global Public Transport Report for 2020 with some interesting stats about Canadian transit usage amid the pandemic.

Moovit’s report leverages big data the company says was analyzed from tens of millions of trip requests. Additionally, the company paired the data with user research in 104 metropolitan areas across 28 countries. For Canada, the report specifically analyzes data in the Toronto, Montreal and Greater Vancouver areas. The report compares 2019 and 2020, which demonstrates the impact of COVID-19 and more.

Further, some metrics measured by the report include the duration of a one-way public transit commute, wait time at stops or stations, walking distance as part of a one-way commute, number of transfers, total trip distance, micro-mobility (bike and scooter) usage and more.

According to the report, some cities in Canada experienced over an 80 percent drop in public transportation ridership at the “lowest point in 2020.” Other highlights from the report include that COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders mean 55 percent of Canadians are using public transit less frequently, or not at all.

Further, Moovit says the top three things that would encourage people to get back on public transit during the pandemic include respecting social distance regulations on vehicles and at stops/stations, real-time arrival information for decreased waiting times and a higher frequency of vehicles so that each is less crowded.

In Toronto specifically, 42 percent of riders want to know which vehicles are crowded before they board. Moovit said that Toronto had the largest percentage of the major Canadian metropolitan areas included in the study.

On top of that, Torontonians have the longest one-way commute durations at 52 minutes (the same as last year) compared to 47 minutes in Montreal (up three minutes from 2019) and 43 minutes in Vancouver (down two minutes). Likewise, 15 percent of Torontonians wait for 20 minutes or more for their public transit lines, the worst of the three cities measured.

In Montreal, 45 percent of riders want a mobile payment system for public transportation.

Those interesting in learning more can check out Moovit’s full report here.