Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The latest Transportation Fact Sheet


The MTA's annual Transportation Fact Sheet provides a dozen pages quantifying how people in San Francisco get to work and get around in general (go to the MTA website and enter "Transportation Fact Sheet"). In the ongoing debate about Muni and cars versus bikes, this document provides a factual basis for the discussion and a reality-check for City Hall's anti-car policies.

Comparing the report of November, 2011, with last year's report: 

The latest DMV numbers show that there are 461,536 registered motor vehicles in San Francisco, which is down slightly from last year's number of 461,827. There were 537,613 driver's licenses issued to city residents in 2010, which is up from 534,829 in the last report. SF has 9,933 registered vehicles per square mile.

"Vehicles Available by Household": Only 21.6% of households in SF have no motor vehicle, with 78.40% of households having between one (36.6%) and five (1.6%).

On the "net change in the number of vehicles in the city between 4 a.m. and noon on a work day": 35,000 come into the city over the bridges and from San Mateo County.

"Means of Transportation to Work" for San Francisco residents: 46% commute by motor vehicle (car, taxi, motorcycle, etc.), 34.1% by public transportation, and---wait for it---3.5% by bicycle. That percentage is up from 2.1% in 2000, a not-so-whopping increase of 1.4% in ten years, after years of anti-car, pro-bike propaganda from the Bicycle Coalition and City Hall.

An oddity: Though the city claims that more people are commuting by public transportation (34.1% from 31.8% in the previous report), average weekday boardings for Muni have supposedly plummeted to 673,196 from 707,459 boardings in the previous report. That anomaly is unexplained, since the report doesn't provide any analysis or commentary on the numbers.

In spite of the hysteria from Walk SF, the SF Chronicle, and the anti-car movement, the city is actually getting safer for pedestrians. There were 695 "non-fatal pedestrian injury collisions," which is down from 799 in the previous report. The Fact Sheet cites the latest city Collisions Report (see pages 26, 27) for those numbers, showing a steady decline in both pedestrian injuries and fatalities on the streets of San Francisco.

But non-fatal bicycle injury accidents are up to 531 from 468 in the previous report.

Parking meters, city parking lots, and parking tickets are a major source of revenue for the city. Alas, much to the distress of the MTA, that income is down to a mere $171,610,099 from the previously-reported $180,015,984probably because people are driving less in the recession.

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11 Comments:

At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apply it where you like, but "probably because of the recession as people drive less" fits a whole bunch of reasons.

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"Apply" what? Or it could be that people who drive in SF (the prey) are becoming warier of the predator (City Hall).

 
At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An oddity: Even though the city claims that more people are commuting by public transportation (34.1% from 31.8% in the previous report), average weekday boardings for Muni have supposedly plummeted to 673,196 from 707,459 boardings in the previous report. That anomaly is unexplained, since the report doesn't provide any analysis or commentary on the numbers.


Cuz ya know - the only public transportation in San Francisco is this thingy called "MUNI". No such thing as "BART", "Caltrain", "Golden Gate Transit", "AC Transit", "SamTrans".

You didn't supply the 2000 number ofr "commute by vehicle". Did it not fit your narrative?

 
At 2:35 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

My "narrative" is about injecting some reality into the discussion of transportation in SF, as opposed to the anti-car, bicycle fantasy pushed by the SFBC and City Hall.

You could have easily looked up the 2000 commuting numbers by going to the MTA site and reading the Fact Sheet. The 2000 commuting numbers are much the same as the latest numbers: There are fewer people driving to work alone (40.5% in 2000 as opposed to 36% now) and fewer people are carpooling (10.8% in 2000 and 7.9% now), but there are more people using public transportation now (34.1% as opposed to 31.1% in 2000).

Your comment on public transportation sheds no light on the issue of why there should be such a decline in Muni ridership. I don't think there's been any similar reduction in ridership on the systems you mention. There's something wrong with those numbers.

And there's something wrong with the numbers under "Number of Vehicles Available." The last report claimed that 30.3% of city households had no motor vehicle, and the current report says that only 21.6% have no vehicle. They're either counting differently or they just screwed up, since the size of the change in only a year seems unlikely.

 
At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More people are commuting to work but there is less total MUNI ridership. No anomaly.

Caltrain ridership is up 15%. Those riders are taking Public transit - increasing the public transit numbers - but are not taking MUNI. BART and GG transit are also running record levels - BART carries a heavy load of commuters from Balboa/Glen/Mission to downtown.

The other logical fallacy - you are comparing numbers on how people *commute* to MUNI ridership numbers 24/7. More people can commute on MUNI and MUNIs overall ridership could still decline - if ridership drops for *non-commute* trips. It is no surprise that non-commute ridership is down on MUNI because MUNI cut their off peak service.

And I'll say this - a ten percent decline in automobile usage for commuting is *huge*.

 
At 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are the king of cherry picking facts. You make a big point about registered vehicles being "down slightly" and ignore the fact that they are being driven 10 percent less.

Intellectual dishonesty the sort Newt Gingrich would be proud of.

 
At 10:42 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Speaking of logic, you still provide no explanation of the decline in Muni ridership when other local systems have an increase.

The Muni ridership numbers, by the way, are for "Avg. Weekday Boardings," not 24/7, which you would know if you had actually looked at the Fact Sheet.

Where do you get a "ten percent decline in automobile usage for coummuting"? The "Drive Alone" percentage declined 4.5% since 2000, and carpooling declined 2.9% since 2000, while "taxicab, motorcycle or other" increased 1.4% in the same 10-year period. Those numbers don't add up to anything like ten percent, more like 6% over a ten-year period.

The most remarkably unimpressive gain is in bicycling, for which the report bungles the math: from 2.1% in 2000 to 3.5% in 2010, which is only a 1.4% gain, not 1.9% as the report has it.

 
At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "Drive Alone" percentage declined 4.5% since 2000, and carpooling declined 2.9% since 2000

10 percent of 40 is 4. 10 percent of people who used to drive alone are now not driving alone. 25 percent of people who carpooled are now not carpooling and they aren't driving solo - because those numbers dropped too.

Cycling on the other hand went up by 66%

It does not matter that you use mathematical fallacy in your argument since you have no policy power, but whatever.

 
At 4:54 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You're over-interpreting that number. Looking at my hard copies of previous Fact Sheets, I can see that that number is probably not statistically significant.

The 2007 Fact Sheet provides the 1990 numbers. The "Drive Alone" percentage is 38.5 in 1990, but in 2000 it's back up to 40.5%. In 2008 it's 38.4%, and in 2009 it was 38.9%.

The "Public Transportation" percentage has been stable since 1990, when it was 33.5%, which means the 34.1% is not statistically significant.

The "Working at Home" percentage, on the other hand, was 3.8% in 1990, and the latest number is 6.7%. Clearly that significant increase is due to the tech revolution in computers, which makes working at home a lot easier.

Hence, it's fair to assume that a lot of folks who used to drive and/or carpool or take public transportation to work are now working at home.

It doesn't look like many people have turned to bicycles to commute. You of course don't want to talk about the puny bicycle numbers, but I don't mind noting that in 1990 1% of city residents rode bikes to work, while in 2010 that number was up to 3.5%. You would say that, hey, a more than 300% increase in bike commuters!

But that's an average increase of .12 a year, not particularly impressive gains for the bike movement.

 
At 8:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You of course don't want to talk about the puny bicycle numbers, but I don't mind noting that in 1990 1% of city residents rode bikes to work, while in 2010 that number was up to 3.5%. You would say that, hey, a more than 300% increase in bike commuters!

No. Since I am not a retard, and have a fourth grade understanding of math I would say that is a 250% increase.

 
At 12:03 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Okay, but the actual numbers are insignificant, especially after ten years of anti-car propaganda from the SFBC and City Hall.

 

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