Does your city have the best public transit in Canada?

Anyone who takes a bus, commuter train, streetcar, subway or ferry on a regular basis likely has strong opinions about it’s performance. In that spirit, transit researcher Nathan Pachal of the South Fraser Blog has put together the third annual Transit Report Card of Major Canadian Regions. The report assesses Canada’s six main populated centres: Greater Calgary, Greater Edmonton, Greater Toronto & Hamilton, Metro Vancouver, Greater Montreal and National Capital Region.

Letter grades were given for each criteria, and then an overall letter grade was awarded. An “A” means better than expected when compared to other regions’ transit, “B” means comparable and “C” means lower than expected.

The assessment looks at four main criteria:

• Revenue kilometres per service hour: The distance traveled by the transit system for each hour of service. The greater the number of kilometres, the faster the transit system is (or the larger the area serviced).

• Farebox recovery: Assessing how much of the money collected from fares goes towards operating expenses, versus how much of the expenses are covered by taxes. A transit system that can be supported by the fares collected from riders is ranked higher than one that needs taxes to be sustained.

• Operating cost per service hour: How much it costs to run the transit service per hour. Does not include replacing infrastructure, new vehicles or service expansion, but does include fuel, labour and vehicle maintenance.

• Operating cost per passenger trip: The more passengers that use a system per hour, the more efficient the transit system, and is more cost effective overall.

• Passenger trips per capita: The amount that people in a region are using the local transit systems.

• Passenger trips per service hour: How productive a transit network is, based on how in demand the service is with customers.

• Passenger trip intensity: Another indicator of productivity, adjusted for the service hours per capita. A higher score indicates the transit systems are aligned with local demand.

Click through to see if your region came out on top.

Canada’s transit systems, ranked

Regina’s transit system, seen here, was not included in the study. (Reuters)

Canada’s transit systems, ranked

Greater Toronto/Hamilton Area
Overall Grade: C
Last Year’s Grade: B
Transit Systems Included: Brampton Transit, Burlington Transit, Durham Region Transit, GO Transit, Hamilton Street Railway, Milton Transit, MiWay, Oakville Transit, Toronto Transit Commission, York Region Transit/Viva
Decreased hours of service per capita in the region caused the dip from the previous year’s ranking. Overall though, the GTHA has the best farebox recovery of any region in the study.
(CBC)

Canada’s transit systems, ranked

National Capital Region
Overall Grade: C
Last Year’s Grade: B
Transit Systems Included: OC Transpo, Société de transport de l’Outaouais
For the last three years, the passenger trip intensity ranking has been dropping in this region. There also appears to be a mismatch between when service hours are offered, and when riders are looking to take transit.
(CBC)

Canada’s transit systems, ranked

Greater Edmonton Area
Overall Grade: B
Last Year’s Grade: B
Transit Systems Included: Edmonton Transit System, Leduc Transit, St. Albert Transit, Strathcona County Transit
Edmonton remains top when it comes to operating cost per service hour, but farebox recovery remains lowest compared to other regions.
(CBC)

Canada’s transit systems, ranked

Greater Calgary Area
Overall Grade: A+
Last Year’s Grade: B
Transit Systems Included: Airdrie Transit, Calgary Transit
For the third year, Calgary saw a fall in its service hours per capita, similar to what is happening in other cities. However the regions passenger trip intensity score went up, which helped boost it to a higher overall rating and tie for second place.
(CBC)

Canada’s transit systems, ranked

Metro Vancouver
Overall Grade: A+
Last Year’s Grade: A
Transit Systems Included: TransLink
The Vancouver region improved its operating cost per service hour, and also continues to have the best revenue kilometres per service hour.
(CBC)

Canada’s transit systems, ranked

Greater Montreal Area
Overall Grade: A+++
Last Year’s Grade: A+++
Transit Systems Included: Agence métropolitaine de transport, Réseau de transport de Longueuil, Société de transport de Laval, Société de transport de Montréal
Montreal continues to rank above and beyond other Canadian transit systems. There has been a decline in service hours per capita over the last few years, however the revenue per kilometre per service hour continues to improve, as does passenger trip intensity.
(CBC)