Study finds 55% of LA area commuters interested in ridesharing, but only 22% in Southland rideshare
7 October 2013
A study by the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) in California found 55% of Los Angeles-area commuters are interested in ridesharing, however only 22% of commuters in the Southland currently rideshare or use alternative forms of transportation.
Membership of the MSRC is made up of representatives from the transportation agencies of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties as well as the Southern California Association of Governments, a designated regional rideshare agency, the California Air Resources Board and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
As a result of the findings, the MSRC is reviving the Rideshare Thursday campaign to motivate drivers to get out of their individual cars and educate them on ridesharing options such as carpools, vanpools, bicycles and mass transit.
Central to the effort, which launched in advance of California’s Statewide Rideshare Week (7-11 October), is a new online portal www.ridesharethursday.com where Los Angeles, Orange County and Inland Empire residents can learn about modes of transportation available to them.
Ridesharing—carpooling, taking the bus, or riding a bike—even just one day a week can help make a difference in Southern California’s traffic congestion and on the environment. It is important that commuters think about alternative methods for getting to work not just on Thursday, traditionally the busiest day for car traffic, but on any day of the week.—Greg Pettis, Chair, MSRC
MSRC’s research found the primary motivation for drivers to seek out new transportation methods is saving money. Ridesharing helps save commuters money on gas and car-related expenses, such as routine maintenance and repair, and insurance premiums. In particular, vanpool options can help save commuters as much as 70 percent in transportation costs compared to those who drive alone.
Another benefit is the impact on air quality. Driving one mile creates almost a pound of emissions, primarily greenhouse gases. With the typical roundtrip commute in Southern California averaging about 40 miles, ridesharing helps the environment by taking single occupant vehicles off the road along with their related air pollution.
The Rideshare Thursday campaign is being sponsored by Clean Transportation Funding from the MSRC, one of the region’s largest funders of innovative policies and programs that reduce the air pollution from cars and trucks in Southern California.
The MSRC allocates Clean Transportation Funding from a $4 surcharge on vehicle license fees, specifically to be used for local projects designed to reduce air pollution from mobile sources such as cars, trucks and buses. Thirty cents of every surcharge dollar goes into the MSRC fund. More than $290 million has been distributed for air pollution-reduction programs since the MSRC was established in 1990. Clean Transportation Funding is heavily leveraged with investments from government agencies, as well as private sources, with billions of additional dollars contributed to projects throughout the region.
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