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Urban public transit, May 2023

Released: 2023-07-19


In May, 120.8 million passenger trips were made on urban transit networks in Canada. This total represents over three-quarters (77.8%) of the May 2019 level, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the highest recovery rate to date.

Ridership recovery continues

Canada's urban transit networks recorded an estimated 120.8 million rides in May 2023, an increase of 26.0% (+24.9 million trips) from May 2022. This marks more than two years of consecutive monthly year-over-year increases.

With activity and travel behaviour continuing to move toward historic patterns, ridership recovered to 77.8% of the pre-pandemic May 2019 level. While this was the highest rate of recovery since the pandemic, there were still 34.5 million fewer passenger trips in May 2023 compared with the same month in 2019.

On a monthly basis before the pandemic, public transit ridership typically edged down from April to May. Meanwhile, May 2023 saw a 5.8% rise from April.

Financial situation continues to improve

In May 2023, transit agency operating revenues (excluding subsidies) were $290.1 million, an increase of $68.6 million, or 31.0%, from May 2022, albeit $46.1 million lower than the pre-pandemic May 2019 level.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Urban public transit operating revenue and passenger trips, monthly, 2019 to 2023
Urban public transit operating revenue and passenger trips, monthly, 2019 to 2023

  Note to readers

Survey data are revised on a monthly basis to reflect new information.

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 the previous year.

One-time payments from secondary and post-secondary institutions for academic-year student passes are typically reported as revenue during the early fall and early winter months.

Data before 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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