Travel

The TYW megazone provides employment for 140,000 workers. On a typical weekday, more than 130,000 trips to work are destined for the TYW employment area. Of these, almost 90% are made by automobile. This represents roughly 118,000 auto work trips to the area per day - plus another 118,000 return trips, for a total of roughly 236,000 daily car work trips associated with the district.

This figure does not include non-work trips to the megazone. When travel for all purposes is considered, TYW attracts more than 321,000 trips per day. Assuming a similar number of return trips from the megazone, we can conclude that it generates more than 600,000 trips daily - almost all of them by car.

The TYW megazone is a major source of congestion on the region's roads. Only about 13,000 of the 130,000 daily work trips taken to the TYW are made by transit. By comparison, downtown Toronto, with 464,650 total jobs, attracts 133,287 all-day auto work trips, as 60% of workers there take transit and another 11% use active transportation (walking, cycling). (See Tables 7 and 8 in the Appendix.)

WHERE ARE TYW MEGAZONE WORKERS COMING FROM?

Not surprisingly, as a major regional employment concentration, the TYW attracts workers from a wide area. Only about one-third of all-day work trips, or about 41,000, originate within less than 10 kilometres of their TYW work destination. Just under half of TYW workers (63,000) travel between 10 and 29 kilometres to their jobs.

Workers travel from all directions to jobs in the TYW. All-day work trips are relatively equally split between north, south, east, and west origins, with trips from the south being slightly more numerous (38,000, or about 29%).

But in the morning peak period, the predominant origin shifts to the east, where 31% of the almost 81,000 daily morning work trips originate. The shares of travel from the west and south in the morning are 19% and 25%, respectively. (See Table 9 in the Appendix.)

Travel by transit to the TYW megazone represents slightly less than 10% of all-day work trips for the district as a whole. The highest transit modal share is from the south, at 17% of trips, presumably because the City of Toronto has more extensive transit service than the other regions surrounding the TYW, and because important Toronto work destinations, such as York University, are included. Transit represents 12% of all-day work trips from the east. For travel from the north and west, transit accounts for only 3% and 5% of trips, respectively. (See Table 10 in the Appendix.)

Though south-originating trips are most likely to be made by transit, trips from the north are the most likely to be shorter; 36% of all work trips to the TYW from the north are less than 10 kilometres. Trips from the north are also the most likely to be very long, with 13% more than 50 kilometres.1 About one-third of trips from the south and west are short, under 10 kilometres.

The greatest number of short trips comes from the north and south - roughly 11,000 from each direction. For trips in the 10-29 kilometre range, the greatest numbers originate to the east and south, at approximately 19,000 each. This suggests the potential for increased transit from the south in particular, to address auto-dependency and the congestion this area generates. (See Table 11 in the Appendix.)

TRANSIT TO AND WITHIN THE TYW

Considerable investment is being made to improve transit service to the area, and more is planned.

Most transit - existing and planned - approaches TYW from the south. This includes the soon-to-be-operational Spadina-University line subway extension to York University and the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, with five stops in the megazone. Since the greatest number of short and medium-length work trips to the TYW megazone (about 30,000 a day) originate from the south, this investment should increase transit use in the megazone.

York Region's Viva Bus Rapid Transit along Highway 7 will improve access to the zone from the east, the source of 29,000 short and medium-length work trips daily. A bus rapid transit line is also proposed along Steeles, connecting the extended Spadina subway line to the Yonge subway line and beyond.

Although the area is served by two GO rail stations (York University and Rutherford on the Barrie line), only about 100 work trips a day are currently made to the zone using this mode.

The key is to leverage transit investments strategically - the subway extension, Highway 7 Bus Rapid Transit and the existing GO transit lines - to reduce the high proportion of auto trips associated with the area.


[1] This travel pattern reflects the area's urban geography. Since Vaughan's current northern urbanized edge is just north of the TYW megazone, trips from this area will be short. Farther north, trips will emanate from more distant settlements.