New report ranks Metro Vancouver municipalities by average car use per person

Sep 27 2019, 5:17 pm

The farther out a Metro Vancouver suburban municipality is located from the City of Vancouver, the higher the total daily vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) by auto driver per capita.

Newly released data by TransLink, from the fall 2017 Travel Diary survey, based on a representative selection of 57,000 people from 28,000 households across the region, suggests the extent of the reliance on private automobiles in the car-centric, low-density suburban municipalities.

When it comes to VKT per capita, Maple Ridge at the eastern fringes of the region tops the ranking of 18 evaluated local jurisdictions, with automobile drivers traveling 33.1 km per day in their vehicle. This is followed by a number of other far-east and far-south suburban municipalities, namely Langley Township (31.2 km), White Rock (29.8 km), Delta (25.6 km), and Pitt Meadows (24.3 km).

Interestingly, the Langley City VKT per capita average of 23.8 km per day is nearly a third lower than Langley Township. A similar pattern is also seen with North Vancouver District’s VKT per capita average of 21 km per day and North Vancouver City’s average of 15.5 km per day.

Both Langley City and North Vancouver City are, of course, denser and better served by public transit than their district municipality counterparts.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, unsurprisingly, the jurisdictions with the lowest VKT per capita per day are Richmond (14.6 km), Burnaby (14.4 km), Vancouver (10.7 km), and UBC (10.1 km). These jurisdictions have higher densities, with urban areas that promote walkability and cycling, and are generally well served by public transit.

At 21.5 km VKT per capita per day, Surrey is in the middle of pack in this regard, but as a whole it has by far the highest VKT by municipality, with auto drivers in this city travelling 11.5 million km per day.

VKT by municipality accounts for both total population and the travel patterns of the population in the municipality. For this reason, Vancouver, the municipality with the second highest total VKT, clocked 6.77 million km, even though it has a higher population than Surrey.

At the bottom of the VKT by municipality ranking is UBC, with just 141,300 km driven per day.

Average VKT per capita per day

  1. Maple Ridge: 33.1 km
  2. Langley Township: 31.2 km
  3. White Rock: 29.8 km
  4. Delta: 25.6 km
  5. Pitt Meadows: 24.3 km
  6. Port Moody: 24.0 km
  7. Langley City: 23.8 km
  8. Port Coquitlam: 22.9 km
  9. Surrey: 21.5 km
  10. North Vancouver District: 21.0 km
  11. Coquitlam: 20.6 km
  12. West Vancouver: 17.2 km
  13. New Westminster: 15.9 km
  14. North Vancouver City: 15.5 km
  15. Richmond: 14.6 km
  16. Burnaby: 14.4 km
  17. Vancouver: 10.7 km
  18. University Endowment Lands (UBC): 10.1 km

VKT by municipality (by auto drivers per day)

  1. Surrey: 11.15 million km
  2. Vancouver: 6.77 million km
  3. Langley Township: 3.58 million km
  4. Burnaby: 3.3 million km
  5. Richmond: 2.93 million km
  6. Coquitlam: 2.83 million km
  7. Maple Ridge: 2.72 million km
  8. Delta: 2.63 million km
  9. North Vancouver District: 1.78 million km
  10. Port Coquitlam: 1.34 million km
  11. New Westminster: 1.12 million km
  12. North Vancouver City: 827,400 km
  13. Port Moody: 818,200 km
  14. West Vancouver: 735,700 km
  15. Langley City: 617,300 km
  16. Pitt Meadows: 424,700 km
  17. White Rock: 378,400 km
  18. University Endowment Lands (UBC): 141,300 km