9% Reduction in Auto Trips!

Today the results for the Interstate TravelSmart program were announced, including a 9% reduction in auto trips among the targeted households.

Most efforts to change people’s transportation choices involve infrastructure – building rail lines, adding buses, striping bike lanes.

TravelSmart is different – it’s all about education and personal touch.

Relative Changes

Today the results for the Interstate TravelSmart program were announced, including a 9% reduction in auto trips among the targeted households.

Most efforts to change people’s transportation choices involve infrastructure – building rail lines, adding buses, striping bike lanes.

TravelSmart is different – it’s all about education and personal touch.

This approach has been used successfully in Europe and Australia, and a small scale pilot was done here in Portland in the Hillsdale neighborhood in 2002. The idea is simple: people would use alternate modes more if they were just educated about their choices.

The Interstate project involved contacting over 14,000 people along the new MAX line and offering them information on how to make choices to increase walking, biking and transit use. If they didn’t want the info – no problem – they were left alone. If they did, it was delivered by bicycle!

The target group was then surveyed to see how their transportation choices changed. A control group who were not contacted was also surveyed for comparison.

No surprise – transit use was up for both groups. But the TravelSmart group saw much greater changes, as the chart illustrates.

Much more detail is available at www.GettingAroundPortland.org.

So why aren’t we doing this in EVERY neighborhood?

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