Friday, April 9, 2010

Auto trips down, transit up

As we wait for two of the largest highway projects to complete in Metro Vancouver’s history, new data from TransLink says that we are traveling less, but smarter. The amount of trips people made per day rose until 2004 at 3.24 trips per person. In 2008, it dropped to 2.65 which is lower than 1994. This is all while our population has been rising.

Transit usage has increased from 9.7% in 1994 to 12.5% in 2008, with the largest improvement between 2004 and 2008. We have seen major enhancements in transit service over the last few years, but I would suggest that the cost of fuel has played a large role in people’s shift to transit. I've been saying this for years, but pricing cues are the best way to get people to shift away from single-occupancy vehicle usage.

This study supports earlier studies that say the vast majority of trips stay within their respective sub-regions. People in the South Fraser, travel in the South Fraser. The government really needs to step up and fund transit in a major way for the South Fraser, there is no excuse.

One area that needs major improvement is the cycling and walking mode share which has stayed flat over the last year 15 years. While many municipalities have been building cycling infrastructure, we still have a long way to go before the “mother with child” type feels safe taking their bike out: even more so in the South Fraser.

I’ve contact TransLink for the 2008 TransLink Trip Diary Survey and will post more information once I get a chance to read it.

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