Hitachi Rail published a major new report investigating attitudes towards public transport and smart mobility in eight cities around the globe, including Toronto.

The first-of-its-kind study finds that three-quarters (75 per cent) of people would choose a better-connected public transport system, rather than driving. The report finds a strong global demand for smart transport solutions to deliver enhanced cost, convenience and comfort, with a willingness to pay for improvements through increased taxes on private transport.

The research for the report was conducted by leading independent consumer research company, Savanta ComRes. The research investigated over 8,000 peoples’ attitudes in eight major global cities: Washington, D.C., Toronto, London, Paris, Dusseldorf, Turin, Dubai and Bangkok.

Toronto’s views on public transport

Respondents in Toronto currently favor driving a personal vehicle to public transport (63%), driven strongly by crowd avoidance (72%), cost (63%) and convenience (44%). More than three-fourths (76%) of Torontonians see the positive environmental impact that public transport can bring, highlighting the need for a continued investment in new sustainability technology and initiatives throughout the sector.

Toronto respondents also cite the COVID-19 pandemic as having a strong impact on public transportation decisions, with more than two-thirds (67%) of Torontonians believing that the pandemic has changed how they travel now. While 54% are more likely to drive rather than use public transport because of the pandemic, 49% strongly or slightly agree that their choices in how they travel will change as we return towards a more normal environment post-pandemic

“Now that we are moving into a post-pandemic environment, we are encouraged to see how Toronto responds to public transport and the new technology, safety programs and sustainability practices that have become available since they last rode,” said Joe Pozza, president of Hitachi Rail, North America.

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Additionally, Toronto ranks as one of the top cities surveyed interested in technology that can better alert riders of service disruptions (13%), show a full route planned and mapped out (12%) and provide real-time advice about how to get to their destination by the most efficient route (12%).

“Cities face significant pressure to reduce the cost of operating their transport networks, cut congestion and minimize CO2. This can be achieved by moving people out of their cars and onto public transport, which poses a significant challenge for many cities and for many reasons,” said Ludmil Neykov, chief digital officer, Hitachi Rail.

“Our research shows that three-quarters of people would use public transport more often if it was better-connected and more convenient, and that access to a single smart phone app for the entire network would be preferable. From Washington, D.C., to Paris, and from Toronto to Bangkok, we are ready help cities to reduce costs, carbon and congestion through our digital systems and services.”

Featured image: (Hitachi Rail)


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