Dictionary, Census of Population, 2016
Main mode of commuting

Release date: May 3, 2017


'Main mode of commuting' refers to the main mode of transportation a person uses to travel between his or her home and his or her place of work.

Statistical unit(s)

Employed person
Experienced labour force person
Person with recent work experience


Main mode of commuting

Reported in

2016 (25% sample); 2011Note 1 (30% sample); 2006, 2001 and 1996 (20% sample).

Reported for

Population aged 15 years and over, in private households, who worked at some time since January 1, 2015. Persons who indicated that they either had no fixed workplace address, or specified a usual workplace address, were asked to identify the mode of transportation they usually used to commute from home to work. The variable usually relates to the individual's job held during the week of Sunday, May 1 to Saturday, May 7, 2016. However, if the person did not work during that week but had worked at some time since January 1, 2015, the information relates to the job held the longest during that period.

Early enumeration was conducted in remote, isolated parts of the provinces and territories in February, March and April 2016. When enumeration has taken place before May 2016, the reference date used is the date on which the household was enumerated.

Question number(s)

Direct variable: Question 43a)


Car, truck or van — as a driver
Car, truck or van — as a passenger
Subway or elevated rail
Light rail, streetcar or commuter train
Passenger ferry
Walked to work
Motorcycle, scooter or moped
Other method


Persons who used more than one mode of commuting were asked to identify the single mode they used for most of the travel distance. As a result, the question provides data on the main mode of commuting. The question does not measure multiple modes of transportation, nor does it measure the seasonal variation in mode of commuting or trips made for purposes other than the commute from home to work.


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