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Urban public transit, May 2022

Released: 2022-07-19


The number of urban transit passengers in Canada continued to rise in May, reaching 94.5 million trips, the highest monthly level since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

With an easing of public health restrictions and more Canadians returning to the workplace, ridership has now recovered 60.8% of its pre-pandemic level.

More Canadians riding transit

Canada's urban transit agencies carried 94.5 million passengers in May―an increase of 42.8 million from May 2021 and marking the 14th consecutive month of year-over-year growth. Indeed, May 2022 was the first month since the pandemic in which passenger levels have reached 60% of the same pre-pandemic month from 2019.

On a monthly basis, May typically has about the same number or even fewer transit riders than does April, as some commuters and students switch to more active modes such as walking and biking. However, May 2022 experienced another unseasonable bump, with ridership up by about 6.5 million passengers (or +7.5%) from April 2022.

With strong employment growth in the service sector and more workers returning to the office in May, urban transit may have offered an attractive commuting option as energy prices continue to soar. Compared with May 2021, consumers paid 48% more for gasoline in May 2022, stemming from high crude oil prices

What's ahead

Transit ridership in the two years prior to the pandemic declined by roughly 3% from May into June as the school year ends and summer vacations start. However, with high gasoline prices and the June 2022 Labour Force Survey reporting a declining proportion working from home along with signs of a strong student job market, this June could be different.

Revenues keeping pace

In May, transit agency operating revenues (excluding subsidies) reached $217.3 million, a jump of $95.5 million from May 2021. For the first time, the transit industry has now recovered almost two-thirds (64.6%) of its pre-pandemic revenues from the same month of 2019.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Urban public transit operating revenue and passenger trips, monthly, 2018 to 2022
Urban public transit operating revenue and passenger trips, monthly, 2018 to 2022

  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 data on operating revenue (excluding subsidies) and the number of passenger trips from a panel of urban transit companies that represents at least 75% of revenues in each province and territory. 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.

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

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (

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