“Albuquerque Rapid Transit” has posted an amusing map on its website. “ABQ Development Activity” claims that the value of building permits issued along ART’s corridor “since the project entered into project development with the FTA in February of 2014” is $321.4 million.
ART’s spinmeisters don’t bother to include the value of building permits for the same period before the boondoggle-in-the-making “entered into project development with the FTA.” However limited — correlation is not causation, of course — the amount would be nice to have.
Also unmentioned by ART propagandists is the significant number of government (and government-funded) entities with projects throughout the corridor, including the Social Security Administration, Highland High School, Jefferson Middle School, East Central Health and Social Service Center, Albuquerque Aquarium, El Vado Motel, and De Anza Motor Lodge. Some “transit-oriented development,” that.
In other reality-based transit news, Chapman University’s Center for Demographics and Policy has released a fresh analysis of urban transportation in the 21st century. Its conclusions should shake ART supporters to the core:
● “Today, over 75 percent of jobs are located in the suburbs and exurbs combined. Between 2010 and 2015, 81 percent of job growth was in the suburbs and exurbs.”
● “Between 1960 and 2015, transit’s work trip market share dropped more than 50 percent, from 12.1 percent to 5.2 percent.”
● “Surveys of where people want to live in five years show a decline in the number of those who prefer urban living, already a small minority, and an increase in desire to move to more rural areas. This in a country where the clear majority already live in suburbs, and where the strongest growth continues to be in the suburbs and exurbs.”
● “In 1980, 2.3 percent of workers performed their duties primarily at home. By 2015, this had doubled to 4.6 percent and was only 0.6 percentage points behind transit; outside of New York, this exceeds transit’s share.”
● The bottom line? “Seeking to impose a monocentric model on increasingly dispersed metropolitan areas is a futile strategy that makes little sense.”
Albuquerque’s numbers align with the center’s findings for the nation. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, in New Mexico’s largest city, more employees walk to work than use transit. The number of Albuquerqueans working at home is nearly double the number of commuters employing government-run buses and trains.
Yet ART rolls on, unconcerned with why and how the city’s residents actually move around — and wholly ignorant of both the revolution in device-enabled, on-demand transportation and inevitable arrival of autonomous vehicles.