Thursday, July 20, 2006

Our northern neighbors are driving less.

A new report by Statistics Canada, reported on by the Vancouver Sun, shows residents of British Columbia drove less last year than in 2004. Not per capita, either - despite population growth of about 1.27% between the ends of 2004 and 2005, total miles driven dropped by nearly ten percent!

It's likely this is due to higher gas prices - in the article, a representative of the BC Automobile Association agrees. I think that what we're seeing in BC is what happens in something closer to a market system - where there are alternatives to driving. I think this is also evidence that buses aren't a viable alternative, whereas mass transit like SkyTrain probably is.

3 Comments:

At 5:22 PM, Blogger MV said...

I'd agree that this could point out that reductions in real terms in driving are best seens when rapid transit is viable. But I'd like to see some data on what "new" modes of transportation took the place of previous miles driven. Or perhaps simply a reduction in total miles traveled?

 
At 5:30 PM, Blogger Ben Schiendelman said...

Good question. Mentioned in the article are numbers for transit and cycling/walking into downtown - together they're 70% of trips.

The PSRC did a travel survey here recently (I participated), and I'm waiting to hear about the results.

 
At 7:57 PM, Blogger EvergreenRailfan said...

Rail Transit is only in a few cities in Canada. Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal. Calgary is expanding there network, Toronto is re-investing in there network, and Vancouver needs some expansion completed in time for the Olympics.

I was in Victoria back in 2004, and to squeeze more capacity into BC Transit's Victoria Bus Fleet, they had just added more Double-Deckers. They get good ridership.

 

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