Getting around

Getting to work

The 2016 census showed that 83% of Hamiltonians used a car to get to work, slightly higher than the 79% provincial average.1 In June 2021, provincial data from Google Mobility showed a 62% drop in travel to and from work from the prior year.2 Statistics Canada found working from home depends greatly on sector: professional, scientific and technical services has 80% “telework capacity” and has exceeded its pre-pandemic employment levels; food and accommodation has a 5% telework capacity and continues to be 30% below pre-pandemic employment levels.3 National research has found the ability to work from home is not equal:  it correlates with income level, gender, educational level and racial background.4

HSR ridership  

HSR ridership fell 46% to 11.7 million rides in 2020 from 21.6 million rides in 2019.  This decrease is not as dramatic as in some cities: public transit systems ridership initially fell by 90% in Toronto and Ottawa, and had returned to only 30% pre-pandemic levels by November; London’s ridership fell by 75% and had returned to 40% of pre-pandemic levels in November. Kitchener-Waterloo, York Region and Mississauga had similar decreases to Hamilton.5

Kilometres of bike lanes

In 2020, 16 cycling projects were installed, including 11 km of new bicycle lanes and paved shoulders, improvements to five km of existing lanes, and five km of new multi-use trails.  The centrepiece was the completion of the Keddy Access Trail along the Claremont Access.  Bicycle ridership on city lanes remained consistent throughout the pandemic, in contrast to other transportation modes.6

Cycling promotion is a key component of the City’s COVID-19 Recovery Phase Mobility Plan.7 Some 20 km of additional bicycle lanes and paths are planned for 2021, including a protected Victoria Avenue path to link Hamilton General Hospital, the Cannon Street Cycle Path, and the Keddy Access Trail.  

[1] Statistics Canada, 2016 Census, Census Profiles
[2] Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports.  Accessed: January 2021.
[3] Government of Canada, 2021.  COVID-19:  A Year in Review
[4] Ibid. 
[5] City of Hamilton (2021).  Public Works 2021 Operating Budget.  Presented to City Council, January 27, 2021.
[6] Ibid.
[7] City of Hamilton, Public Works Meeting, June 17, 2020