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Urban public transit, April 2020

Released: 2020-06-30

The collapse of ridership on the country's buses, trains and subways, which began in mid-March as part of an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, has resulted in a historic year-over-year passenger decrease for April 2020. Following a 42.0% decline in March, the number of passenger trips fell 85.0% to 23.4 million in April. Consequently, the total operating revenues (excluding subsidies) of urban transit companies also crumbled, down 83.3% to $56.6 million in April.

The impact of the lockdown is expected to start easing in June, as provincial re-opening plans begin to allow more businesses to re-open, people to assemble and non-essential transit trips to resume. However, with the large number of teleworkers and the possibility of colleges and universities conducting semesters remotely along with the possible reluctance of some people to use public transit, the return of former customers to public transit could be slow and gradual over the coming months.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Urban public transit operating revenue and passenger trips
Urban public transit operating revenue and passenger trips

  Note to readers

Data for the most recent quarter are subject to revision. The data in this release are not seasonally adjusted.

This survey collects operating revenue (excluding subsidies) and the number of passenger trips from a panel of urban transit companies that represent at least 75% of revenues in each province and territory. Users should note that the panel is adjusted annually to maintain the 75% coverage and could differ slightly from what it was in the same month a year earlier.

Caution should also be used when comparing values prior to January 2017, as the number of sampled companies changed significantly. Data prior to January 2017 can be found in Table 23-10-0078-01.

The Transportation Data and Information Hub, a web portal developed jointly by Statistics Canada and Transport Canada, provides Canadians with online access to comprehensive statistics and measures on the country's transportation sector.

Contact information

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