A new survey commissioned by the City of Vancouver indicates that half of trips made within city boundaries are now made by walking, biking or transit.
The latest data collected by City staff and presented to City Council earlier today indicates 50 per cent of Vancouverites are choosing transportation options that do not revolve around the use of a private vehicle.
This represents a 10 per cent increase from the figure recorded in 2008, which means the municipal government has achieved its Greenest City 2020 goal for transportation mode share.
With public transit usage, annual ridership has grown from 150 million in 2010 to 175 million in 2014, a surge likely fuelled by transportation improvements completed in time for the Olympics such as the Canada Line.
People are using their private vehicles less as ICBC AirCare data shows residents have been driving 21 per cent less than the rate recored in 2007 – a decrease of 1,660 vehicle kilometres traveled per capita.
When it comes to cycling numbers, improvements to the city’s cycling infrastructure greatly contributed to the growth in cycling as a mode of transportation. About 99,000 cycling trips were made last year, up from 50,000 in 2008 when significant bike lane investments were only in the planning stages.
However, pedestrian traffic only saw a small uptick, rising by just 4 per cent since 2008.
“Our Greenest City and Transportation 2040 actions are making Vancouver a safer, cleaner, more environmentally friendly city to get around,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Investments in safer walking and cycling – protected bike lanes, improved crosswalks, better lighting – are encouraging people to walk and bike more, and we’re now seeing big increases in walking and bike trips throughout the city.”
The City aims to have 66 per cent of all transportation trips by walking, cycling and transit in 2040.