A look at the potential impact of telework on public transit and greenhouse gas emissions using 2015 data

Release date: April 22, 2021
Infographic: A look at the potential impact of telework on public transit and greenhouse gas emissions using 2015 data
Description: A look at the potential impact of telework on public transit and greenhouse gas emissions using 2015 data

A look at the potential impact of telework on public transit and greenhouse gas emissions using 2015 data

Since mid-March 2020, many more Canadians have been working from home than in the past.

If all Canadians who usually work outside the home in jobs that can be done from home started to telework, public transit use, traffic congestion, and greenhouse gas emissions would likely fall. But by how much?

Number of potential teleworkers

Percentage of Canadian workers who have a job that can be done from home, but who usually work outside the home, 2015

  • Canada: 36.3%
  • Vancouver: 38.9%
  • Toronto: 44.0%
  • Ottawa–Gatineau: 48.2%
  • Montréal: 41.5%
  • St. John's: 37.7%

Time savings resulting from telework

Reduction in the average daily commuting time of potential teleworkers if they started working from home

  • Canada: 55.3 minutes
  • Vancouver: 60.4 minutes
  • Toronto: 72.1 minutes
  • Ottawa–Gatineau: 57.8 minutes
  • Montréal: 64.3 minutes
  • St. John's: 35.5 minutes

Significant reduction in the demand for public transit

Decrease in the annual number of public transit commutes, as a percentage of commutes by workers who use public transit

  • Canada: 51.8%
  • Vancouver: 47.5%
  • Toronto: 55.7%
  • Ottawa–Gatineau: 61.8%
  • Montréal: 55.9%
  • St. John's: 23.8%

The resulting decline in commuting and use of public transit could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 8.6 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, or 11.0% of the direct emissions from transportation activities by households in 2015.

Source: Morissette R., Z. Deng and D. Messacar. 2021. “Working from home: Potential implications for public transit and greenhouse gas emissions.” Economic and Social Reports, Vol. 1, no. 4. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25318/36280001202100400005-eng.

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