I am not a hardcore cyclist. I don’t ride much in the winter, so I brought the commuter bike out for the first time this spring and couldn’t help but notice the bad potholes on
Gladstone Shanly Salem Bloor Rusholme Ossington Harbord Bay James St.
An article in the Toronto Star published today (April 2) suggests that Toronto’s younger commuters are relying less and less on the automobile to commute. A third take transit, 10% walk and 1.5% take a bike. Only 1.5% take a bike? That’s the best way to commute! Cheap, efficient, fast. Way better than walking. And with a bit of trial (and hopefully no error) it’s possible to find quiet routes that lessen your chance of getting drilled by a moving vehicle or a “door prize”. I would think that you’d have to live pretty close to work to walk on a regular basis.
Anyway, the census shows that as people age they are more likely to rely on the car. This is probably due to people getting overweight and creaky as they age as well as the increased likelihood that they’re living in the suburbs and need a car to get to work. So that’s a snapshot of right now, but what’s the trend?
If the trend is towards the 25-34 year olds staying in the city and raising a family in the city, hopefully the 66% of 25-34 year olds who currently commute will decrease even as kids enter the picture. Living downtown, I often see people cycling around with kiddie trailers.
If the 25-34 year olds still migrate to the ‘burbs, they’ll either have to get a car OR they’ll be relying on public transit because that’s all they’ve known in their working lives. And so this has been my long, circuitous route to saying: JOIN THE METRONAUTS COMMUNITY! There’s a good trend of young people giving up automobiles, but if there isn’t a good regional/provincial infrastructure to support their choices, they’ll be forced into the automobile. That’s not a good thing.
So get involved in the conversation about Metrolinx’s plan, read the green papers, attend a Metronauts event. And tell people about it.