Ridership of the commuter-rail system that was established in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in 1967 increased annually until 1989 at an average compound rate of 11.4 percent. From 1990 to 1994, the demand leveled significantly and averaged only 2.1 percent per year, which probably reflects the suburbanization of employment. Urban economic theory explains the way in which central-business-district employees respond to suburban commuter-rail services and rapid transit services, primarily serving the inner and intermediate suburbs. The theory was validated by travel data collected in 1986 and 1991, confirming that commuter-rail passengers are drawn from the larger suburban households, living principally in single-family houses, and commuter-rail passengers are more sensitive to access and egress distances than subway passengers. Policies that improve the quality of access and egress components of commuting trips from the suburbs stimulate passenger demand. Also, land-use policies that promote high-density, residential development at suburban commuter-rail stations are unlikely to affect significantly the commuter-rail demand. The GTA commuter-rail system that has been in service since 1967 has not influenced residential sorting or generated additional demands.


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  • Accession Number: 00726102
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 24 1996 12:00AM