"Vital Signs" of Transportation in Toronto
Each year, the Toronto Community Foundation (TCF) releases its Vital Signs report that tracks over time several different indicators of Toronto's quality of life, including transportation. In the recently released 2011 report, TCF reports that chronic underinvestment in transportation is threatening Toronto's global competitiveness.
TCF identifies several transportation challenges: First of all, an average round-trip commute in Toronto is now 80 minutes, the longest in comparison to twenty other metros around the world. Secondly, neighbourhoods with higher incomes have access to 40 subway stops compared to 19 stops for lower-income neighbourhoods. Subway lines also do not extend far enough for residents in suburban areas. Thirdly, with only one year remaining in the original timeline for the City of Toronto's ambitious bike lane, less than 25% has been completed. Of the total 5600 km of Toronto's roads, only 117 have bike lanes. While the comfort and safety of cyclists continues to be compromised, a recent survey conducted by IBM found that out of 20 cities around the world, Toronto is the third-easiest to park. As the removal of on-street parking is often required in order to install bike lanes, there is a direct link between the lack of bike lanes in Toronto and the proliferation of on-street parking.