Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sacramento’s Transit Future

The future of transit in our community is already being determined as people continue to stop using public transit, favoring personal, for which there are many reasons: demographics, safety, convenience, flexibility, etc, and solid trends (which this one is) are fought against at a community’s peril.

Hopefully Sacramento’s leaders will see the facts rather than fictions in making their decision where to put transit dollars.

Editorial: Getting to the future
Transit plan is key to region's well-being
Published 12:00 am PDT Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How will the Sacramento region cope with the growing population, and what role will transit play? Those are questions two sets of planners are studying…

The problems the region faces are obvious. SACOG projects that by 2035 the region will add 525,000 homes and 535,000 jobs as the population grows by an additional 1 million residents. More traffic congestion, dirtier air and longer commutes will be inevitable if nothing is done.

The Metropolitan Transportation Plan for 2035 will invest $42 billion in the six-county Sacramento region over the next 28 years. Using land-use and transportation planning, SACOG seeks to reduce time spent commuting, protect air quality and improve the quality of life in the region.

RT hopes to build upon the SACOG plan with an extensive review of its options. The problems for RT are clear: Only 1.1 percent of all trips in its service area are on buses or light rail, and bus ridership has been declining 1 percent per year. More people walk and bike than use RT. If RT is going to increase its minuscule share of daily trips, it will need to attract "lifestyle users," people who have other options.