Store Operations

New figures from StatCan: Urban public transit numbers down 59%

December 1, 2020

Statistics Canada reported this week that urban public transit passenger rides were down 59% in September 2020 compared to September 2019. More postsecondary students are completing their studies online and many transit agencies have reduced their services. Such a steep decline in city ridership on subways, buses and streetcars could be expected to have a negative impact on sales in stores near transit stations, or in areas like office parks that were once filled with workers commuting on transit. However, September 2020 retail sales increased by 4.6% year over year in September nationally, going up 5.7% in Vancouver and 4.2% in Montreal, although they decreased by -1.2% in Toronto. Overall, this is good news for Canadian retail, showing consumers are finding ways around their traditional public transit patterns to purchase and receive goods.

Urban Public Transit release for September 2020

Retail sales release regional table for September 2020

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