NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

UPDATE to Lamphere suggestion we expand public transit

The Sacramento Area Council of Government's looked at transportation mode choices in the region, given increasing congestion by 2027. In a study they found:
At the regional level, people do not change travel modes significantly. The MTP goals call for providing a range of travel choices, but people continue to prefer the auto for most travel. In 2000, 50 percent of all trips drive alone in autos, carpools comprise 43 percent, transit handles less than 1 percent (90,000 riders per day), and 6 percent bicycle or walk. Even with a MTP 2025 heavily emphasizing transit improvements, by 2025 total transit ridership barely doubles (180,000 riders per day), or 1.2 percent share of trips. Congestion at the levels found in Sacramento in 2025 or 2027 is nowhere near severe enough to entice many people to switch to transit. Indeed, in nearly every major urban area around the country, even those such as the Bay Area and Los Angeles with extreme congestion, people gradually shifted away from transit to driving during the 1990s. Thus even the small increase in transit use reverses a decade-long trend in the opposite direction. The typical response to heavy congestion involves finding a new route or cutting through neighborhoods to get out of the traffic jam, not switching to transit or bicycling. In our hectic urban world, few people are willing to forego the auto's advantages -- convenience, flexibility, and shorter travel time -- and choose transit, given the relatively low cost of driving and time lost to congestion typical of Sacramento in 2025.
Why would travel patterns be different in Western Nevada County?

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