KELOWNA – A survey of local travel habits reveals a number of insights into how Okanagan residents get where we need to go.
Conducted by the City of Kelowna, City of Vernon, Districts of Lake Country, West Kelowna, Peachland, Westbank First Nation and the Regional District of the Central Okanagan, the survey shows the travel patterns of more than 91,000 households in the Okanagan.
Among the most significant changes since 2007, is the use of public transportation. It has almost doubled and the number of trips is now growing faster than the population.
In a report prepared for Kelowna city council, regional planning manager Rafael Villarreal says residents were sent invitation cards in the mail and each person in the household was asked to record all travel during their designated survey day.
A total of 6,750 people in 3,050 households filled out the survey, resulting in information on approximately 22,500 trips over a typical fall weekday.
“Travel surveys are data collection tools vital in the development of market assessments of current travel characteristics of residents in a region,” Villarreal writes. “This type of survey provides key information to help governments ensure the development of an effective, sustainable and financially sound transportation system.”
According to the survey, the number of trips made on a typical fall day rose from 515,000 in 2007 to over 571,000 in 2013 with 429,600 trips originating from Kelowna each day. Of these, only 10 per cent leave the city.
A total of 571,600 trips originated from the Central Okanagan, up 11 per cent.
Twenty per cent of trips originating in the Central Okanagan cross municipal boundaries and the number of autos owned is .77 per cent per person. That number is up only .01 per cent since 2007, however the number of bikes owned per person increased from .74 to .82.
The report also shows 35 per cent of travelling done in the Okanagan is to and from home and 15.6 per cent of trips are made to and from work. Shopping-related travel accounted for 10.4 per cent and 56 per cent of trips were less than 5 km.
While there was a .5 per cent decline in the number of people driving vehicles, bus use almost doubled to 6.4 per cent.
“The highlighted results are only a sample of the information that can be mined from the travel survey,” he says. “The data will be used in the development of transportation policies and developing a Regional Strategic Transportation Plan.”
Since 2007, the population of the Central Okanagan increased 6.8 per cent to more than 184,000 and the number of households increased 14.3 per cent to approximately 82,000 over the same time period.
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