Report: Billings roads, public transit need improvements and prioritizing

Posted at 10:21 PM, Apr 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-03 00:21:23-04

BILLINGS – A road map to help identify how residents move about Billings was released at the City Council meeting on Monday.

A typical Billings resident makes 3.4 trips per day and travels nearly six miles in 16 minutes, according to the survey prepared by Maryland-based company Westat.

The survey will help decision-makers better understand necessary improvements to where residents drive.

Data was gathered from more than 2,300 people in 1,066 households using an app to collect GPS-based travel.

The study calculated 8,400 trips in from May to June 2017. The data shows some unsurprising results: a majority of trips, 90 percent, are made by vehicle. Only 7 percent are done by biking or walking.

To get to work, it takes an average of 16 minutes in the region. Public transportation remains low in Billings. MET Transit accounts for just 1 percent of trips, but about 50 percent of residents participating in the survey said they agree improving public transportation should be a high priority.

A majority of respondents said the city should also prioritize improvements to pedestrian and bicycling safety.

Nearly all agreed roads need work.

Engineers say the data collected with this survey will not only support model development in the region, but also air quality and emissions projections, analysis of travel mode choices, and other types of analysis will be among the many possible ways in which this dataset can be used for general planning needs.

You can see more of the survey here.