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Survey: Californians are finding alternatives to car travel

A 2012 California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) survey of household travel practices in the state found that the percentage of residents walking, biking or using public transportation on a typical day has more than doubled since 2000.

The survey was the largest and most complex review of its kind, Caltrans officials said in a press release. It provided a snapshot of the travel behavior of 109,000 people  from more than 42,000 households in 58 California counties.    

"Based on this research, we can make good decisions about transportation that will improve mobility, air quality and travel choices for all Californians, and make our state a better place to live and work," said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty in a press release.

Nearly 23 percent of household trips were taken by walking, biking and using public transportation systems compared with 11 percent in 2000.

Survey participants received diaries and recorded where and when they travelled and how they got to and from their destinations on one random day. The average number of trips for a household was 9.2, while the average number of trips per person was 3.6.

"Californians are increasingly choosing alternatives to driving a car for work and play. That's a shift with real benefits for public health that also cuts greenhouse gases and smog-forming pollution," said Mart Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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