Why is This Important?
The use of internal combustion vehicles has adverse impacts on local and regional environmental quality. Traffic congestion on area roadways reduces worker productivity, causes longer commutes, and induces stress. Choosing alternatives such as public transit, carpooling, walking, and biking, can improve regional air quality, community livability, neighborhood vitality, and public health.
What is a Sustainable State?
In a sustainable state, single occupancy vehicle trips decline over time in favor of alternatives such as public transit, carpooling, walking, and biking.
How Are We Doing?
· The automobile continues to be the dominant mode of travel in San Mateo County. In 2009, 71 percent of county residents drove alone to work. Another 11 percent carpooled.
· Since 2000, there has been slight decrease in single occupancy commuting, down from 74 percent in 2000. The number of workers who work at home has nearly doubled.
· The average commute time to work for county residents in 2009 was 25.1 minutes. About 21 percent of all county workers face daily commutes of at least 45 minutes each way, an increase from 2008 when only 13.2 percent of county residents faced such commutes.
· Vehicle travel is highly correlated to economic activity. Total vehicle miles traveled in the county peaked in 1999, and then decreased 10 percent through 2006. Daily per capita vehicle miles traveled in San Mateo County has remained stable at about 25 miles per day per capita since 2006.
· Public transit use in the county has increased significantly since 2004, with average weekday ridership on the three major transit providers (BART extension, Caltrain, and SamTrans) increasing 34 percent from 101,000 to over 134,000 riders per average weekday.
· SamTrans is the largest provider of public transit service, with about 43 percent of all ridership in the county (including commute time shuttle service to BART and Caltrain).
· Caltrain and BART “commute shuttles” that connect stations with employers have been a notable success story in the county. Ridership on these shuttles has increased 50 percent since 2005, to over 7,600 riders per day in 2010.