THE COMMUTING CITY

If you live in or near Toronto, you’ve probably suffered through at least a few long commutes. The objective experience sucks a lot too. A Forum Research poll from last year estimates that Toronto residents spend an average of 84 minutes commuting every day. UK-based Expert Market estimates that the average Toronto worker is spending 376 hours every year in transit. That’s an incredible 15 days of your life every year, just wasted in transit. This cost is disproportionately born by lower-income workers. Not only has the cost of public transit risen at twice the rate of inflation over the past year, making the use of public transit more costly, but those more likely to commute are exactly those that have been priced out of the Toronto housing market closest to downtown.

 

Despite a move towards a polycentric model, downtown Toronto has 585,000 jobs, nearly 40% of all the jobs in Toronto, a majority of which are office-based work. That’s the set-up. Now, there’s considerable speculation that COVID-19, as a catalyst for remote work on a larger scale than ever before, has permanently changed the nature of work. Remote work, while admittedly unfeasible for *all* jobs, still can be a suitable substitute for office-based work. In this episode, we explore the implications of this decentralization of work and talk about alternative forms of transportation.

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