Surge in Use of Public Transit


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Caltrans will have to accommodate more people who are choosing to walk, bike, and take public transportation, according to a California Household Travel Survey, which finds that the number of people taking alternative means of transportation has doubled since 2000.

Spokesman Mark Dinger said Caltrans has been actively including ways to accommodate more bicycle and pedestrian uses, and building park-and-ride lots so people can carpool.

Surveyors picked households and had each member of the family track their typical daily travel in a diary. The Caltrans survey looked at travel behavior of more than 100,000 people from about 42,000 households in every county in the state.

The survey found that 23 percent of household trips were made without a vehicle –either by walking, biking or public transportation.

By contrast, however, just 11 percent were using those modes of transportation on a daily basis to get around, according to the survey.

A report released by the American Public Transportation Association found that public transit has risen 37.2 percent nationwide since 1995.

Several cities in California, including Oakland, Riverside, San Carlos and Los Angeles, have reported record levels of people using public transit, according to the transportation association.

Overall, Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation — the highest annual ridership in 57 years, the association reported.

Caltrans worked with several agencies to complete the survey, including Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Strategic Growth Council, as well as several others.

According to Caltrans officials, the data will be used to forecast future highway and travel demands, greenhouse gas emissions, and what can be done to improve alternative transit uses for state residents.


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