Saturday, June 17, 2017

Portland: City that loves to spend money on transit

Randal O'Toole on Portland:

In 2007, the New York Times called Portland “the city that loves mass transit.” The Antiplanner took issue with that claim then, and it is even less appropriate now. APTA’s latest ridership report reveals Portland’s transit agency, TriMet, carried 1.6 percent fewer trips in 2016 than in 2015. The American Community Survey says that the share of commuters taking transit to work fell from 8.1 percent in 2014 to 7.9 percent in 2015.

In reality, as the Antiplanner wrote in 2007, Portland is “the city whose officials love to spend money on transit.” That also remains unchanged, as TriMet is preparing a regional transit strategy that calls for more streetcars, more light-rail lines, and exclusive busways. To top it off, TriMet wants to build a light-rail subway through downtown, which will probably cost almost as much as all of Portland’s previous light-rail construction combined...

Rob's comment:
San Francisco does a lot better than Portland, since Muni has 702,000 boardings every weekday, and 34% of city commuters take public transportation (2015 Fact Sheet, page 3). On the other hand, 7.2% of Portland commuters cycled to work, compared to San Francisco's 4% (2015 Fact Sheet, page 3).

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