Main mode of commuting of employed person

Status: This standard was approved as a departmental standard on March 16, 2021.


Main mode of commuting refers to the main mode of transportation a person uses to travel to their place of work.

Employed person refers to those who, during the reference period, had a labour force status of 'employed'. That is, those who, during the reference period:

(a) Did any work at all at a job or business, that is, paid work in the context of an employer-employee relationship, or self-employment. This also includes persons who did unpaid family work, which is defined as unpaid work contributing directly to the operation of a farm, business or professional practice owned and operated by a related member of the same household; or

(b) Had a job but were not at work due to factors such as their own illness or disability, personal or family responsibilities, vacation or a labour dispute. This category excludes persons not at work because they were on layoff or between casual jobs, and those who did not then have a job (even if they had a job to start at a future date).


This variable applies only to those persons whose workplace location in Canada was not their home.

This concept allows users to assess how many people use private vehicles, public transit and other means as their main mode of commuting to work.

Conformity to relevant internationally recognized standards

This standard is compatible with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's "Conference of European Statisticians Recommendations for the 2020 Censuses of Population and Housing", 2015, related to commuting to work. The report states that for people making several journeys using more than one mode of transport, the mode of transport used for the greatest distance in the daily journey should be indicated.


Relation to previous version

  • Main mode of commuting of employed person March 16, 2021 to current

    The definition of the concept has been simplified.

  • Main mode of commuting of employed person June 15, 2015 to March 15, 2021

    This standard replaces the recommended standard 'Mode of transportation of employed person'. The concept has been renamed "Main mode of commuting."

  • Mode of transportation of employed person June 26, 2013 to June 14, 2015

    This standard was replaced by the 'Main mode of commuting of employed person' as of June 15, 2015

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