America's Transportation Transformation Plays Out in Los Angeles

In the American city most synonymous with the automobile, car ownership is declining and transit use is increasing. As the country's transportation model enters a decade of profound change, L.A. may provide the 'ultimate test' of the car’s future.

"The city that put drive-thru restaurants on the map has doubled its network of bike lanes to 292 miles (470 kilometers) and expanded light rail by 26 percent in the past eight years, with another 18 miles of track coming by 2015," writes James Nash. "Bus and train ridership is on the rise, while the total number of passenger cars registered has declined in Los Angeles County -- evidence more commuters are breaking their dependence."

"The one-family car Americans grew up with, combustion-engined and gasoline-powered, is under assault from an array of options: electric cars, hybrids and alternatives like bikes, light-rail and car-sharing plans such as the one operated by Avis Budget Group Inc. (CAR)’s Zipcar Inc. (ZIP)," he continues. "Los Angeles, the largest market in the biggest U.S. state for vehicle sales, could be the ultimate test of the conventional car’s future."

“'The next 10 years will be as important to the auto industry and transportation literally as the invention of the Model T,' Scott Griffith, former chief executive officer of Zipcar and a strategic adviser to the company, said at the Bloomberg Link Next Big Thing Summit in Half Moon Bay, California, on June 17. 'We’re now on the edge of all these new business models coming along and the intersection of information and the car and transportation. If you look out 10 years, I think we’re going to see a huge change, particularly in cities.'”

Full Story: L.A. Breaks Driving Addiction as Bike-Train Commutes Grow

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