Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Trip Diary Survey results released

with 3 comments

You can download a briefing paper as a pdf file or read the somewhat breathless Buzzer blog blurb

I expect to see these graphics reproduced a lot, but they capture the main message – transit is up, car trips are too but by less than population, and those cars are shared less often. Of course, its not good enough and if the current funding mess isn’t sorted out, it is going to get worse.

I am taking some time off, so I do not have a lot to add at the moment, but the comments are open.

Written by Stephen Rees

October 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Very interesting indeed…
    the Monocle magazine gave its yearly ranking of the 25 most liveable cities in its July-August 2012 issue. According to them 15.9 % of Vancouver residents either walk or bike. I thought that lumping them together was I am happy to see the figures—taking them with the usual caution.
    I thought strange that they didn’t mention the number of cyclists in major Japanese towns as this bowled me over the first time I was there. I didn’t expect to see so many bikes in downtown Osaka and Tokyo!

    Monocle ranked Vancouver # 19 this year (it was #20 last year). This is much too high as far as I am concerned, even though these rankings are mostly made for international expatriates moved around by big companies.

    Red frog

    October 26, 2012 at 10:45 pm

  2. I tried to find similar surveys for various towns without much success. I did stumble on a survey made for the STIF (the Parisian region transit authority).

    See (In French only of course… as the French bureaucracy only work in French..). I did some cut and paste of my translation of the major points of the survey. My apologies if the text isn’t properly set on this page.

    It is a survey that is done once every 10 years. The latest one was done from October 2009 to April 2010 and from October 2010 to May 2011, except during school holidays. 13 000 households were chosen at random. About 43 000 persons from age 5 to…were asked questions, face to face in their homes, about trips they made the previous day.

    Some of the findings:
    Every business day, 10.6 million Franciliens (inhabitants of the Île-de-France i.e the Greater Paris region) 5 years and older make 41 million trips. This is nearly 17% more than in the 2001 survey.

    Each person makes an average of 3.87 trips per day. The average length of a trip is 4.4 km.
    Of the 41 million trips made daily in the Île-de-France in 2010, 39% are made on foot, 38% by car and 20% by public transport. 70% of trips are made outside of Paris, an increase of 53% since 1976

    Local trips, less than 3 km, represent 65% of all trips done by the Franciliens. Only 14% of trips in the Île-de-France are over 10 km. These relate mainly to commuting from home to work (49% travel more than 10 km).

    Nearly 8.3 million journeys are made every day by public transport.
    This is an increase of 21% since 2001.The average distance increased from 8.7 km in 2001 to 9 km in 2010.
    2.2 million of the trips by public transport are in Paris, where this mode of transportation is much preferred to the car. These movements have increased by 16% between 2001 and 2010. 3.2 million trips by public transport are outside Paris. 2.9 million trips by public transport are between Paris and the rest of the Île-de-France.

    During the last decade, car travel has stabilized around 15.5 million, a slight volume growth of 0.6% over 2001. 0.5 million car trips are made in Paris, a significant decrease of 35% compared to 2001. 7% of journeys in the capital are by car. 1.1 million car trips are made between Paris and the rest of the Île-de-France (a decrease of 23% compared to 2001). Outside Paris, a trip out of 2 is made by car. 13.7 million car trips are made outside Paris. This mode is dominant and shows a slight increase (6% since 2001)

    With 0.6 million daily trips, the use of motorized two-wheels increased sharply between 2001 and 2010 (+ 34%). Between 2001 and 2010, the number of daily trips by bicycle has doubled and now reach 650,000 trips per day. This increase was particularly noticeable in the Greater Paris region. In Paris, shared bicycles account for 27% of cycling. The bike is mostly a local mode of travel, with an average range of 2 km.

    Walking is the most commonly used mode of transport. In 2010, 15.9 million trips daily were made only on foot. It should be noted that users of other modes of transportation that also do part of their travel on foot are not included in this volume. 11.4 million trips were made on foot in Paris and in the closest suburbs. 3.1 million were made in the outer suburbs. Between 2001 and 2010, the reduction of the number of trips between home and the workplace was more than offset by the growth in travel for secondary reasons related to work.

    Direct trips between home and the workplace have been replaced by more complex sequences of movements. Travel patterns for shopping, leisure or personal affairs are in sharp increase well beyond the growth of the population.

    Transport policies have been broadly supportive of alternatives to the car: – Public transport has experienced strong growth, especially during peak hours of the day and evening. -more trains, buses and trams were provided – At the local level, active modes of transportation have benefited from qualitative improvements of public space in many Francilien municipalities (pedestrian crossings, widening of sidewalks, bike paths, speed 30 zones). – In contrast, the increase of pay parking and the reduction in the development of new roads have reduced the use of the car. Rising fuel costs has also been detrimental to its use.

    Note that, just like in Metro Vancouver, people in the suburbs use cars a lot…even though there are both several lines of RER and many lines of commuter trians they all radiate from Paris, while many suburbanites travel from one suburb to another, avoiding Paris.

    39% of trips are made on foot, 20% by transit. There is no % for bikes because it is likely below or around 1%.
    The goals of Vancouver transportation 2040 are for 2/3 of trips made on foot, by transit and bikes yet the example of Paris shows that, even with a heavy duty transit system, cars are still used a lot in the suburbs.
    This is also the case in many old big cities.

    The fact that few people use cars in Paris has less to do with the transit system (14 subway lines in an area slightly smaller than the city of Vancouver) and much more with the fact that very few buildings have an indoor parking, streets are narrow and finding a parking space–even blocks from on home is a lottery, and renting an indoor stall 24hrs X 365 days is prohibitive.
    There are also many measures that make driving in a big city a hassle. from limited parking to a maze of one way streets that make a trip longer than ever..

    Most Parisians live in apartments, by the way. There are a few thousands–at most– small single family houses, originally built for blue collar workers and now quite expensive despite their small size, but when they were built cars weren’t common so many have no parking facilities.

    This noon, on the news from Switzerland, there was an item about a bundle of measures taken to discourage the use of cars in cities (amongst other things people that speed over the limit will loose their licence for 2 years).

    When I lived in France our wealthiest client had a week-end house in a village near Paris, a centuries old vacation home in Dordogne with an amazing garden (we maintained the home–actually several buildings–year long, and did some renovation yearly), and an apartment on the Cote d’ Azur–each one of these homes had 2 or 3 full time staff.
    His permanent home was a huge apartment in Paris, with live-in staff..BUT NO PARKING! after work the chauffeur took the car to his own small suburban home..that did have a garage!!

    Red frog

    November 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm

  3. Couldn’t ask for a better lead-in than grenouille rouge giving present day numbers for transportation in and around the one, two or three greatest pieces of urbanism in western culture.

    The point to make is that urban form will be the great determinant of how the numbers Stephen is reported balance out in the coming decades. The Parisian model seems to be public transit for commuting; private auto for get aways; and a walkable network of cities.

    Discussions of transportation were (not surprisingly) absent from the recent planning workshop trying to shape an urban future for Mount Pleasant—I might suggest we try to dig up its forgotten urban past first. My report on the workshop here:

    In the group that I joined, among the key issues for Mount Pleasant was transportation. Namely, dealing with theOld Wagon Road (Kingsway), with the road that connected it to the first bridge over False Creek (Main—formerly Westminster Ave.), and the geometries and movements of the triangle block that results from together. Not insignificantly, the south side of the triangle is barely 220-feet, and has traffic lights at both ends.

    The stronger our ideas and grasp of issues in transportation, the better the urban design is going to get.

    lewis n. villegas

    November 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm

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