41% of U.S. auto trips are less than 2 miles, and 28% are less than 1 mile - a healthful, walkable distance for many people much of the year in Minnesota - yet most of these trips are taken by car. Cities - through what they directly administer and in what they influence - can provide more transportation options to their residents, businesses and employees. And how we get around in our cities helps shape the evolving physical form of our cities, which reinforces getting around via different modes.
Other trip modes - walking, biking, and shared mobility options (transit, ridesharing, carsharing, bike and scooter sharing, anticipated shared autonomous vehicles [SAVs]) - deliver and contribute to numerous benefits:
- improved physical and mental health
- fewer carbon and toxic emissions
- reduced dependence on foreign oil
- decreased health and transportation costs
- more street activity, resulting in safer streets
- improved public transit
- more people-to-people connections than is facilitated by auto-only travel
- adaptability, resilience, redundancy, reliability, and robustness in the local transportation system
Transportation options are essential for 40% of Minnesotans who do not have a driver's license, who cannot afford a car, and who are either too young or old or too disabled to drive a car. For example, in 2010, about 70% of transit riders in the most rural parts of Minnesota either did not have a car or a driver’s license. And thinking about access to people, services and products as the goal, as opposed to mobility, puts a focus on web-based communication/commerce options.
This best practice focuses mostly on helping community members modify their travel routines. Several other GreenStep best practices in the transportation and land use categories focus on changing the physical environment of a city in ways that make it easier for individuals to take advantage of the actions in this Mobility Options best practice.