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blueindicatorTrends in Transportation Choices

Sustainable CultureCommunityTrendsinTransportationgraphicWhat is this indicator and why measure it?

Cities are shaped by their transportation system. This system allows people to travel from one place to another using a variety of modes include walking, cycling, riding transit, and driving.

A transportation system that is affordable, efficient and offers a variety of choice supports a strong economy and balanced development. A sustainable transportation network considers social and economic accessibility along with each mode's related health impacts.

In building a more sustainable community, the Regional Transportation Master Plan (RTMP) sets the following objectives:

    • Use a comprehensive, long-term transportation planning approach that considers all modes.
    • Ensure that public transit services are planned and operated to be competitive with other modes, including the automobile.
    • Develop safe, convenient and well-integrated bicycle and pedestrian networks and facilities that link key activity points within the region.
    • Ensure that the health and social benefits of an active lifestyle guide transportation planning and design decisions.
    • Give priority in the following order but recognize local context will influence transportation design choices:
    1. Walking
    2. Cycling
    3. Public transit
    4. Carpooling and other smart commute strategies
    5. Single occupant vehicles
    • Provide opportunities for cyclists, transit vehicles, and pedestrians to cross natural or man-made features (rivers, freeways, etc.).
    • Foster the development of communities that support active transportation such as walking and cycling.


Current trends in transportation choices

According to the 2006 Transportation Tomorrow Survey, overall modes of travel are split into the following proportions in the Waterloo Region:

    • 7.1% walking
    • 0.7% cycling
    • 6.5% transit
    • 15.6% auto passengers
    • 69.6% auto drivers

In 2007, Ipsos Reid conducted a poll of residents in the Region on issues related to transportation and possible improvements to the transportation system. Key findings from the public survey indicate that:

    • Vast majority of residents rely on cards (as a driver or passenger) for at least part of their commute.
    • Driving habits of residents compared to those 10 years ago show: 
        • 33% drive less
        • 38% drive the same
        • 27% drive more


Modal shift targets

One of the core components of the RTMP is the mode share targets. These targets look at the proportion of people using each transportation mode. Achieving these targets will require a significant shift in personal travel behaviour and the attitudes of residents and policymakers. The Region of Waterloo is ready to embrace this change and the plan builds on recent successes in increasing transit ridership, and supporting new cycling and pedestrian infrastructure. This includes sustainable design considerations for cars as they are expected to continue to play a major role for travel within the Region. Ultimately, the RTMP is all about moving goods and people, as well as creating a vibrant community.

By 2031, our goal is to see an increase in active and sustainable modes of transportation (biking, cycling, and transit) and decrease travel by car. The table and chart below shows the targeted change in mode use from 2006 to 2031.

Shift in Modes of Transportation Used By Regional Residents From The Year 2006 to 2031.


For a full copy of the RTMP, click on the following webpage: The Regional Transportation Master Plan


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greenindicator Strong progress achieved
yellowindicator Moderate progress achieved
redindicator Progress needed
blueindicator Information only
greyindicator Indirectly related