First Metro Countywide Sustainability Annual Report, With Plenty Of Graphs

Metro Sustainability
Cover of 2015 Metro Countywide Sustainability Annual Report [PDF]
At yesterday’s Metro Board of Directors Ad Hoc Sustainability Committee meeting, Metro staff shared the agency’s first Metro Countywide Sustainability Annual Report [PDF]. The report establishes a baseline to “track sustainability progress going forward for Metro’s own actions and broader measures of sustainability throughout the county. The Countywide Performance Metrics measure sustainability outcomes countywide such as how people travel throughout the county, the environmental impacts of this travel and how transportation and land use shift over time.”

The report includes brief case studies on sustainability projects from vanpools, to greenways, to bike hubs. It includes a spreadsheet with Metro’s status on its identified sustainability work plan.

The bulk of the report is a series of graphs showing Countywide Performance Metrics, including Vehicle Miles Traveled, Total Person Trips for Carpool and Active Transportation, Daily Total CO2 Emissions for L.A. County, Metro Transit Ridership Total Annual Boardings, and more. Each of these metrics are shown on graphs, most of which SBLA has included below in the order in which they appear in the report.

VMT
Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) for L.A. County. Image via Metro [PDF]
trips
Total trips trips made walking, bicycling, and carpooling. Image via Metro [PDF]
job
Number of jobs within a half-mile radius of transit stations. Image via Metro [PDF]

population
Population within a half-mile radius of transit stations. Image via Metro [PDF]
ped bike
Overall pedestrian and cyclist deaths and injuries in L.A. County car crashes. Image via Metro [PDF]
CO2 Emissions
Total carbon dioxide emissions for L.A. County. Image via Metro [PDF]
Vehicle delay
Daily total vehicle delay for L.A. County. Image via Metro [PDF]
transit ridership
Total annual Metro transit ridership. Image via Metro [PDF]
SBLA will mostly leave these graphs to speak for themselves, as it is welcome to see Metro publicly establishing sustainability baselines which it will track and report on annually.

Predictions (most of which here are from the Southern California Association of Governments – SCAG, not Metro), especially ones about the future and about 21st century transportation, are pretty difficult.

Examples of metrics that could benefit from refinement would be bicycle and pedestrian injuries and deaths. It can be somewhat misleading to show just the absolute number of injuries and deaths, without taking into account how many people are utilizing a mode. If, for example, bicycle trips triple and bicycle deaths double, then the number of deaths per trip is actually declining even though the overall number of deaths is increasing. Similarly, other absolute numbers including transit ridership and VMT, could also be reported as modal share percentage and per-capita respectively.

And, of course, it would be helpful to not just publish these statistics as PDF graphs, but also include actual data in an open easily-shared format that researchers and the public can access and study.

  • Joe Linton

    Any one want to bet that, for the next 6 years, biking+walking trips won’t be quite as flat as SCAG predicts? Looks like SCAG expects that they won’t even keep pace with population growth. (When have we ever seen transportation professionals predict a drop off like that?)

  • Eve Sanford

    Wow. LACBC’s last bike count showed a 7 percent increase in bicycling between 2011 and 2013. But SCAG assumes that’s going to going to stagnate? Despite projects such as bike share and cycle tracks moving forward!?

    Also, why are the accidents for bikes/PEDs increasing so much if the total people riding are not?

  • Joe Linton

    The total people walking/bicycling are increasing. Even SCAG’s figures show a 15% increase from 2008-2014 – 3.3million to 3.8million

  • J

    I made a Venn Diagram to go with Metro’s fancy graphs. I’m getting pretty good at using Aldus Page maker, if I don’t say so myself.

  • This was very confusing to me. I get that forecasting is hard, but given that Metro has pretty explicit goals to increase investments in walking/biking and growing the mode share of active transportation, what kind of assumption is this for the next 5 years? Are they saying that their investments aren’t going to increase biking or walking at all through 2020?

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