Why driving cars is dropping in popularity in Southern California

traffic in LASouthern California has always been a key bellwether for transportation trends in the US and in the world. The region that had one of the best mass transit systems through the 1940s became the hub of auto sales and traffic congestion starting in the 1950s. Now that trend appears to be changing course.

Automotive News pointed to several key indicators showing that the love affair with the car is fading…

  • Light rail has been expanded 26% in the past eight years with 18 miles more of track coming by 2015. Bike lane networks have doubled to 292 miles. Bus and train ridership is growing – up nearly 5% in May 2013 versus May 2011.
  • Even more significant – the total number of passenger cars has declined in Los Angeles. The market rebounded from the recession, but the 2012 sales numbers were 28,000 less than five years earlier.
  • Consumers have a lot more options that gain their interest away from traditional cars – electric cars, hybrids, bike lanes, light-rail, and car-sharing plans such as Zipcar are on the rise.
  • Toyota and Honda have sold a lot of small-to-midsize cars in this market for several years and are putting a lot of emphasis now on hybrids, natural gas vehicles, and plug-in electric vehicles.
  • Traffic congestion is getting worse – LA had its longest congestion-related delays in the US in April. The average driver wasted 5.2 hours, up from 4.5 hours in April 2012.
  • Sharing rides is gaining in popularity especially with young people, through social circles, and there’s more interest in bus and rail rides and car sharing.

2 thoughts on “Why driving cars is dropping in popularity in Southern California”

  1. I believe that all your facts are correct, except you are failing to look at demographics, CA is getting poorer by the day. This means smaller cars, more bus and train riders, but the love affair of car owners; is not waning. You are using the increase in other forms of transportation as a signal, the cars are becoming less of a necessity or not even cared for. Since I found this in a dealership email, it is in their best interest and any other person in the “Golden State” (now a joke) to look around and get involved with the reduction of jobs being exported from CA to other more job friendly states. Other wise the only vehicles they will be selling is 3 -4 year old used and police cars, both of which will continue to increase in sales in the now almost bankrupt state. Dealers are trading there sales of new profitable vehicles for the great new vision of our once great state; no new jobs is the path to higher tax’s, thinking once they get the tax’s hiked high enough they will have the funds to swoon the companies back, just one more blind sided idea from a going no where state. So please add to our facts the real reason that CA appears to be greener.

  2. Are you sure about Why driving cars is dropping in popularity in Southern California … and southern california auto sales? Saturday will give me more time to check it out…

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