Every three to five years, a survey on travel patterns in the region is done for Metro Vancouver. This survey is based on trip diaries recorded by a selected cross-section of Metro Vancouver residences and provides details on travel patterns in the region. TransLink posted basic information about the travel patterns in our region from the survey last year, but the detailed analytical report was not available at that time. I was searching TransLink’s Online Document Library and found that the analytical report based on the latest 2011 data was posted in February. A problem with TransLink’s Online Document Library is that if you don’t know what to search for, you’ll never find new information.
|Transit Mode Share in Metro Vancouver|
I had a look at the analytical report to see what changes there were to travel patterns in the South of Fraser.
|2011 Weekday Mode Share by Sub-Region. Select image to enlarge.|
|Surrey, White Rock, and North Delta Trip by Mode. Select image to enlarge.|
76% of weekday trips stayed within the Surrey, White Rock, and North Delta sub-region with an additional 6% of trips going to Langley. A full 82% of trips stayed within the South of Fraser. Mode share for transit and cycling increased. While the weekday average per capita vehicle kilometers travels (VKT) was stagnant in most of the region, VKT actually decreased in Surrey, White Rock, and North Delta. People are driving less, from 18.4km in 2008 to 17.8km in 2011. This is good news and is likely a reflection of Surrey's commitment to becoming more walkable, its recent investments in cycling, and an increase in transit service.
|Trips by Mode (Langley). Select image to enlarge.|
In Langley, 65% of weekday trips stayed within Langley with 18% of trips going to Surrey and 7% of trips going to the Fraser Valley Regional District. A full 90% of all trips starting in Langley never cross a major bridge. In Langley, mode share remained stable expect for cycling which saw a slight increase in share. Unlike Surrey, per capita weekday VKT increased from 23.6km in 2008 to 25.2km in 2011. This is no surprise as the community isn't very walkable and there has been a lack of transit investment in Langley. The Township of Langley has ramped up its efforts to promote cycling and I wonder if that is why cycling mode share has increased.
Overall transit does a good job of getting people to Vancouver. For example, a full 45% of all weekday trips from Surrey, White Rock, and North Delta to Vancouver use transit and 30% of all weekday trips to Burnaby and New Westminster. Transit also captures a higher mode share for trips that are headed north of the river for trips that originate in Langley.
When looking over these numbers, it seems that when investments are made in public transit and cycling, people will choose these modes of transportation. With all the money being spent on bridges and tunnel that don’t serve the major of trips in our region, I have to wonder if that money could have been better spent on other modes of transportation, getting people out of congestion and giving them real travel choice.