In 2009, Ontario households reported spending an average of $9,753 a year on transportation costs (private and public costs). Those below the poverty line often cannot afford car transportation.
Source: http://www40.statcan.ca/cst01/famil16d-eng.htm CANSIM Table
From 2001 to 2009 in St. Catharines- Niagara CMA, the cost of a monthly transit pass as a % of monthly minimum wage income has gone down considerably.
Figure 2.6 Transit affordability, 2007-2009
For those who drive cars, the rising cost of fuel affects affordability to travel for education and employment. Gas prices went down in the middle of 2008 and have risen steadily since, into 2011.