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New Report On Transport Trends

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  • Todd Alexander Litman
    For Immediate Release: 20 January 2005 For more information: Todd Litman, . The Future Isn t What It Used To Be: Changing Trends And Their
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 20, 2005
      For Immediate Release: 20 January 2005
      For more information: Todd Litman, <litman@...>.

      "The Future Isn't What It Used To Be: Changing Trends And Their
      Implications For Transport Planning," by Todd Litman, Victoria Transport
      Policy Institute (http://www.vtpi.org/future.pdf)

      New report indicates increasing importance of transportation system diversity.

      This report examines demographic, economic and market trends that affect
      travel demand, and their implications for transport planning. Motorized
      mobility grew tremendously during the Twentieth Century due to favorable
      demographic and economic conditions. But the factors that caused this
      growth are unlikely to continue. Per capita vehicle ownership and mileage
      have started to decline, while demand for alternatives such as walking,
      cycling, public transit and telework is increasing. This indicates that
      future transport demand will be increasingly diverse. Transport planning
      can reflect these shifts by increasing support for alternative modes.

      Study Conclusions
      Between 1900 and 2000 per capita vehicle travel increased by an order of
      magnitude due to favorable technical, demographic and economic trends.
      However, this study indicates that these trends are beginning to change.
      Toward the end of the Century per capita automobile travel stopped growing
      in the U.S., and started to decline after 2000. This decline is likely to
      continue due to factors discussed in this report.

      An increasing portion of the population will need or prefer to rely on
      alternative modes such as walking, cycling, ridesharing, public transit,
      telework and delivery services. Automobile transport will continue to be
      important, but the role of other modes will increase.

      Transportation professionals should take these trends into account when
      making strategic decisions. We should plan for a mature transport system,
      with less emphasis on roadway system expansion and more emphasis on
      improving transport system efficiency and diversity.

      For example, if we start developing a new suburban highway now, it will be
      completed about the time that most Baby Boomers retire, fuel prices rise
      significantly, and consumers increasingly value walkable neighborhoods. It
      may be better to anticipate these trends by investing resources in
      alternative modes and creating less automobile-dependent communities.

      Although this paper investigates transport patterns in wealthier, developed
      countries, the analysis has important implications for lower-income,
      developing countries.

      Todd Litman, Director
      Victoria Transport Policy Institute
      "Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
      1250 Rudlin Street
      Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, Canada
      Phone & Fax: 250-360-1560
      Email: litman@...
      Website: http://www.vtpi.org
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