UMR Index


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Score: 62.6%

Sustainable Mobility



Score: 55.8%

Public Transit


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Score: 57.3%

Population 2.6 million
Surface area (km2) 912
Population-density (people/km2) 2,805
GDP per capita ($) 40,613
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What Vancouver Does Well in Urban Mobility

World renowned for its approach to traffic management, Vancouver is home to a vast, interconnected network of safe and well-maintained roads. Its ambitious 2040 plan aims for zero traffic-related fatalities by implementing street features such as highly visible crosswalks, raised sidewalks, separated bike lanes and adding more speed humps.

Vancouver has invested in public transportation, most notably with the fully autonomous Skytrain, which has multiple lines passengers can use to travel throughout the city. TransLink, Vancouver’s metro operator, plans to quadruple the size of its rapid transit network to about 400 kilometers (250 miles) of total coverage and to put transit within a short distance of most homes and jobs by 2050.

Urban Mobility Readiness Index, Sustainable Mobility and Public Transit scores

Challenges and Opportunities for Vancouver’s Transportation System

Vancouver's residents have limited charging station availability, although the city recently mandated that by January 2025 all gas stations and commercial parking lots must have charging stations to avoid paying a higher business licensing fee. The city also plans to expand its public charging network so that there is one fast charger within a 10-minute drive of every resident. These efforts are a positive step toward increasing EV adoption, as charging station availability is a key consideration for potential EV customers.

Vancouver does not have a strong cycling infrastructure, and few residents opt to cycle around the city. However, the British Columbian city has 10 projects planned from 2023 to 2027 to improve active mobility infrastructure.

Dimensions of the Urban Mobility Readiness Index score

How Vancouver Can Improve Its Public Transportation and Sustainable Mobility

Despite having one of the strongest public transit systems in the region, many of Vancouver's residents have lengthy walks to metro stations and bus stops. Vancouver could add bus routes and stops to help connect residents with metro lines — a cost-effective method to lower walking distances and overall commute times. Vancouver already is working on this, as TransLink plans on redistributing bus stop locations to reduce wait and travel times. In the long run, extending existing subway lines and adding new options will be key to building out the city's public transit offering, but that effort will be a time consuming and expensive undertaking. However, Vancouver already has started by constructing six new underground subway stations, which are scheduled to open in 2026.

In Vancouver, nearly half of trips are taken with personal cars. The city lags behind its peer New York in terms of car ownership with New Yorkers owning an average of 2.5 times fewer cars than residents of Vancouver. Introducing car-free zones to heavy foot-trafficked areas and limiting parking can lower car usage. City officials plan to pilot a car-free area in 2023 or 2024. The city would need to offer alternative mobility options by promoting public transit, active mobility, and shared mobility such as car-sharing or ride-hailing. Vancouver can improve its active mobility infrastructure by building bike lanes, expanding its bike-sharing program, and heightening traffic enforcement. Vancouver’s previously mentioned plans to enhance cycling infrastructure show progress, but further efforts would help boost active mobility.

Comparative Urban Mobility Readiness Index scores