Earlier this week, we said we need to start prioritizing transit more, or continue to be stuck in traffic. We wrote that people across the country are driving less, and that study after study reveals building more roads isn’t the answer to congestion. And now, we have data that shows our neighbors in Arlington are getting the big picture about transit, and reaping the benefits.
According to Arlington’s Mobility Lab, despite a growing population and number of jobs in the area, Arlington County Commuter Services shifted 45,000 car trips each work day from a single occupancy vehicle to some other form of transportation (mostly transit). WAMU reports that three initiatives have encouraged this shift: “ offering multiple alternatives to the automobile in the form of rail, bus, bicycling, and walking;  following smart land-use policies that encourage densely built, mixed-use development; and  relentlessly marketing the transportation alternatives through programs that include five ‘commuter stores’ throughout the county where transit tickets, bus maps, and other information are available.” We need to make sure we have a comprehensive transit system, that people know about, to complement the mixed-use development in our community.
“Reducing traffic on key routes does make it easier for those who really need to drive. Not everybody can take an alternative,” explains Howard Jennings, Mobility Lab’s director of research and development. Everyone, including those in cars, benefits when transit use increases.