CMAP Study Shows “Not Your Father’s” Travel Trends

“Travel Trends: Understanding how our region moves” is the name of a study recently released by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP).  The study’s results say that a “well-functioning regional transportation system helps residents safely, efficiently, and comfortably go about their daily business.” The RTA’s regional public transportation system is the backbone of our region’s transportation system and the RTA advocates daily for the resources we need to assure that the system is able to meet our riders’ needs now and in the future.

You may have seen Greg Hinz’s  coverage on the study in Crain’s Chicago Business.  Mr. Hinz’s article begins: “Is Chicago’s love affair with the auto ending?”  and goes on to summarize some of its findings including:

  • Vehicle miles driven in Illinois peaked early in the past decade and have steadily declined since.
  • The share of those with a driver’s license has dropped for all but the elderly, with the decline particularly notable among teenagers.
  • Use of public transit to get to work is highest among those who earn at least $75,000 a year.

Shifts in transportation use like the ones described in the CMAP study mean the demands on our transit system are only going to grow. This coverage comes, appropriately, on September 22, World Car Free Day, when cities around the world take part in commutes that may seem “foreign” to us.

The CMAP study will inform the agency’s regional strategic plan called On To 2050. In 2050, today’s millennials will be in their late 50’s. At the RTA we work every day to invest in our system now so it is here for our grandchildren as it is for all of us.

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