Does your city have an innovative smart transit policy? The Natural Resources Defense Council’s Smarter Cities project put together a list of America’s Smartest Regions for Transportation, naming the 15 U.S. metropolitan regions that are really thinking outside the car. On top of the list are well-known mass and alternative transportation leaders like New York City and Portland, but cities I’d never heard of — like Yolo, Calif., and Bremerton, Wash., — also made the list.
That’s because the study includes four to seven cities in three different population size categories. San Francisco made it on the large cities list with its bicycle network and BART system, but partly rural and partly urban Yolo., Calif., also got kudos for its Yolobus system, bike-friendly streets, and alternative fuels leadership.
Sadly but as expected, Los Angeles did not make the list. After all, the metropolitan regions were judged based on public transit accessibility, car use, and transportation costs — all areas that the L.A. metropolitan area could improve on. That said, Los Angeles just got a big bicycle plan for the city, will be opening the first half of a light rail line called Expo Rail next year, and has plans to continue expanding its rail network. Maybe in a few years, the city known for its car culture will start getting recognized for its out-of-the-car transit options.
One can dream. Did your city make the list?