Tuesday, March 13, 2007

End of a Trend?

This is interesting:

For the first time in nearly half a century, Center City vehicle traffic dropped while mass-transit ridership was up, according to new data from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.


The number of vehicles crossing Center City's boundaries was about 1.015 million on a typical weekday in 2005, down slightly from 1.020 million in 2000, according to the commission's preliminary, unpublished data. In 1995, the number of vehicles was 990,000. Meanwhile, the number of mass transit riders entering or leaving Center City was 486,326 a weekday in 2005, up from 442,023 in 2000 and 484,151 in 1995.

The slight shift interrupted a 45-year trend. In 1960, when the commission began keeping track, 53 percent of all Center City trips were by mass transit; by 2000 the percentage was down to 26.5 percent. In 2005, the percentage rose to about 28.5 percent.

There's very little that can be realistically done to improve the urban highway infrastructure in Philadelphia, and plenty that could be done to improve mass transit both within the city and between the city and the burbs.