Analysis of credit card use reveals Bloor bike lanes work for business

Oct. 12, 2017

Amid Mayor John Tory’s endorsement of the Bloor Street bike lanes on Wednesday was a nod to a common-sense approach to consideration of commerce in making decisions about infrastructure.

“I was concerned when you saw all these different business groups, some saying things were terrific and others saying they weren’t very good,” Tory told reporters at a Wednesday morning press conference about public consultations for SmartTrack happening this week.

“The one thing you could take a look at that wasn’t in and of itself determinative but certainly was objective data that came from sales actually reported by technology was Moneris data,” Tory said.

The report on the Bloor Street bike lane pilot, released on Wednesday, includes information the city purchased from Moneris Solutions Corporation in the form of trends based on the credit card company’s analysis of their data (but did not include the data itself).

The research is based on sales that use Moneris payment processing made from August 2015 to July 2016 and from August 2016 to July 2017, and compares transactional trends where the Bloor pilot took place with three comparison groups: the surrounding neighbourhoods, the Danforth, and all businesses in the city.

The findings from the Moneris analysis revealed a marginal decrease in the per-transaction amount in the pilot area, however city staff wrote in an email that because the decrease is across all industries and comparison groups, that “this would indicate the change is an external factor unrelated to the pilot.”

Councillor Mike Layton says the Moneris data reinforces what is seen in other jurisdictions around the world.

“In areas like Bloor, like this, on streets like this, where most people get there by walking – or they get there in a combination of public transit and walking, or a combination of cycling and walking – where you have 90 per cent of the people getting there to shop or to go to dinner by those modes of transportation, it stands to reason that you’re not going to see a loss in business.”

The report on the Bloor bike lanes pilot project will be discussed by city councillors at the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee next week.