Central Ohio Barely Makes a Dent in Driving Rates
The Columbus Dispatch reports on "modest gains" over the past few years in tackling congestion and promoting sustainable transportation options in Central Ohio. Patrick Cooley explains that while there was a dip in the percentage of commuters who drive, that small achievement was offset by a growth in the overall number of commuters driving.
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, using census data, found that the proportion of Franklin County commuters who drive alone to work fell to 81.2 percent, from 81.7 percent, between 2007 and 2016. It's a small decrease, but it reversed an upward trend. However, the total number of people driving alone to work actually increased in that time, to 503,180 from 463,043.
Some of the share of drivers went to public transit ridership, through programs like free bus passes for employees of Downtown businesses and more than doubling the number of high-frequency lines, among other initiatives. Some also went to cycling, with the addition of bike lanes on major streets. But both options are still difficult to access outside of urban cores, Cooley reports.