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Question For Commuters: Would You Leave Your Car At Home One Day A Week?

Traffic on a San Diego freeway is shown in this file photo, Nov. 22, 2011.

Photo by Associated Press

Above: Traffic on a San Diego freeway is shown in this file photo, Nov. 22, 2011.

If you are one of the thousands of San Diegans who drive to work alone each day, would you consider taking alternative transportation? That is the question posed in a recent transportation survey commissioned by San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).

The survey is being used to form a better understanding of how people in San Diego and Western Riverside County choose to get to work. The survey also aims to identify what it would take to get solo commuters to consider greener options, like carpooling, public transportation, or ridesharing.

By Reporter Maya Trabulsi

A SANDAG survey asks commuters, who drive to work alone if they'd consider alternative transportation, even if it's only one day a week.

Of the 4,000 people who took the Commute Behavior Survey, 56% said they would choose an alternative commute at least once a week. The factors that would encourage them to do so would be improvements in travel time, accessibility, as well as incentives like discounts.

Cynthia Burke is the director of applied research at SANDAG. She said finding ways to be competitive with solo driving will help reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and therefore reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Cynthia Burke, Director of Applied Research at SANDAG, shown in an undated photo.

“If we could just even get people exploring alternatives one day a week, and a significant proportion of individuals did that, we could have some type of effect on the VMT in the region,” Burke said.

The survey said 84% of respondents currently drive alone to work. SANDAG will use the data collected in their regional planning efforts.

“Every bit is going to count as we're trying to get that 19% reduction that the state wants to see from our jurisdictions and reducing those vehicle miles traveled ... knowing that employees and people getting to work is one of the main sources of VMT," Burke said. "That's what we're trying to do is offer a look at how can we make alternatives viable to give people options."

A 19% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is targeted for 2035, which was mandated by the California Air Resources Board in 2018.

Reported by Roland Lizarondo

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