Traffic

Traffic Survey Shows Many Trips, Lack Of Mass Transit Use By Area Drivers

Posted July 21, 2006
Updated November 10, 2006

— Drivers in the Triangle area take lots of daily car trips, drive for long periods of time, and mass transit is rarely an option. Those are just some results of the Greater Triangle Travel Study.

Around 12,000 drivers in the 12 counties in and around the Triangle kept a diary of their daily drive. North Carolina State researchers did the study to, in part, help traffic engineers find out more about daily driving patterns to help steer them toward better planning.

The average commute for surveyed drivers was 27 minutes, and there was an average of 10 daily car trips per driver. Reducing those numbers could cut down on gas consumption, traffic congestion and air pollution.

One number that stood out was that 95 percent of surveyed drivers never use mass transit. Greater use of mass transit would go a long way to take more cars off crowded highways. But some drivers told WRAL that they have no plans to get out of their cars.

"No no, I won't ever use mass transportation," said driver Jack Kochel.

Now, planners will pour over the survey and work toward solutions. A huge roadblock they'll need to keep in mind is what state legislators called a $30 billion shortfall in transportation funding.

The Department of Transportation, the Triangle Transit Authority, and several local planning organizations funded the survey and plan to use the results.

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