Updated: Aug 5, 2019
Cars are now outpacing people. A recent survey has shown that since 2006, Waterloo region’s population growth is 6% while the number of registered vehicle has grown by 12%.
The spike in cars is double the increase in population. Not to mention that despite the investment in public transportation such as ION LRT as well as reduced public minimum by 10-40% in majority of Waterloo. All of which are being done in order to reduce the reliance on commute via driving and mitigate risks with climate change. People in Waterloo turns out are now driving more and further than ever to get.
The average household reached 7.2 km in a recent survey done by Transportation Tomorrow, a initiative supported by the government of Ontario to learn more about how people traveled. The increase in driving mileages could be caused by the fact that close to two thirds of people living in Waterloo are employed elsewhere in Kitchener or Cambridge. Waterloo drivers account for more than 85% of cross-border commutes vs only 69% within city commutes.
This is not a surprise considering mega-corporations such as Toyota in Cambridge, which currently active employs over 8,000 workers and engineers while producing over 600,000 vehicles annually.
Meanwhile in Kitchener, startup and mid-cap companies are sprawling. Kitchener now is home to global brands such as Google, Deloitte, NetSuite, and TD. Smaller tech incubators and startups such as Thalmic Labs, Velocity, and Communitech are also on the rise. Simply look at the number of condos being built around downtown Kitchener will give one a clear indication of the growth in that region.
The rise in housing prices in addition to the fact that driving to work can often be cheaper and faster than other means of transportation are contributing factor to the longer driving distance people are taking with their cars. It is also notable to mention that there has been a decline in carpooling, as people would rather choose to walk, cycle or take public transport than being a passenger.