Local News

Commuters cut down drive time

Study finds driving in Colorado Springs on the decline

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado Springs ranks eighth among the U.S.'s top cities when it comes to driving less.

Colorado Public Interest Research Group released a study on Colorado Springs' commuters and their driving habits. According to the group's website, it is a consumer group focused on countering the influence of big banks, insurers, chemical manufacturers and other special interests.

CoPIRG used government data to compare transportation trends in America's largest cities.

It found the proportion of workers commuting in private vehicles -- alone or in a carpool -- declined in 99 out of 100 of American's biggest cities.

In the past 10 years, driving miles per capita in Colorado Springs decreased by 6 percent.

The percent of people commuting in private vehicles in Colorado Springs decreased by almost 4 percent. It was the eighth largest reduction out of U.S.'s 100 most populated cities.

The study found more people are using public transit. In Colorado Springs, the number of miles people traveled on public transit increased by more than four percent from 2005 to 2011.

"I'm surprised that's happening in Colorado Springs because stuff is so far apart from each other.  But, it's good to hear they are doing that," said Colorado College student Mark Levitt.

The study found cities with the largest decrease in driving were not those hit hardest by the recession. It said instead, the cities appeared to be less affected by the recession according to unemployement, income and poverty indicators.

"Over the last decade, the Colorado Springs metro area has been working to provide alternatives for people to get around, such as some recent improved bus service," said Lisa Ritland, field director of the CoPIRG Foundation. "The data show we need to continue to make these investments as more and more Coloradans increasingly favor traveling without a car."

John McCormick said he tries to use his bike instead of his car whenever possible.

"I live right down the street so driving isn't a very efficient way to get a couple blocks down the street," said McCormick.

McCormick is part of a growing group of young people across the U.S. reducing their time behind the wheel. The study found Americans ages 16 to 34-years-old reduced their drive time by 23 percent.

For a full break down of results from the study, click here: http://copirg.org/reports/cof/transportation-transition

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