Results from the California Household Travel Survey show that the percentage of California residents walking, biking, or using public transportation on a typical day has more than doubled since 2000, according to Caltrans.
Nearly 23 percent of household trips were taken by walking, biking, and public transportation. In 2000, that share was only 11 percent. This increase includes a dramatic increase in walking trips, which nearly doubled from 8.4 percent to 16.6 percent of trips.
“This increasing interest in many transportation choices is another reason why we are on the path to more sustainability in California,” said California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly in a statement. “Caltrans will continue improving the state’s transportation system to help ensure Californians have many viable choices for how to travel.”
Survey participants received diaries and recorded where and when they traveled and how they got to and from their destinations on one random day. The average number of trips for a household was 9.2, while the average number of trips per person was 3.6.
“Californians are increasingly choosing alternatives to driving a car for work and play. That’s a shift with real benefits for public health that also cuts greenhouse gases and smog-forming pollution,” said Chairman of the California Air Resources Board Mart D. Nichols. “California is committed to supporting this shift with better planning to support sustainable communities and healthier, low-carbon choices for travel.”
Last year, legislation was approved creating California’s $129 million Active Transportation Program, which distributes funding for human-powered transportation projects and programs to increase the proportion of trips accomplished by biking and walking.
“Based on this research, we can make good decisions about transportation that will improve mobility, air quality, and travel choices for all Californians and make our state a better place to live and work,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.
Caltrans and regional transportation planning agencies will use the data to forecast future travel demands and greenhouse gas emissions and look for ways to improve transportation to meet the needs of the state’s residents.