Congratulations Southern California! Our transportation system is no longer considered a failure (at least by the government agency in charge of transportation funding.)
A recent report card by Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) gave Southern California a passing grade (D-) after two years of F's. True, this grade would disqualify you for the honor role where I come from, but it does show that regionally we're seeing some progress. Let the Party begin!
The accompanying report shows where SoCal's transportation system is and how far we have to go. The highlights...
1) Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) and average commute time per household was down for the second consecutive year.
2) The region (particularly Los Angeles and Orange counties) continued to experience the highest level of congestion among the largest metropolitan areas in the nation.
3) From 2004 to 2006, there was a notable decrease in the region’s share of drive-alone commuting from 76.7 percent to 74.1 percent, reversing the trend of steady increases between 2000 and 2004. Transit boardings per capita and as a percent of total trips and miles increased in large part due to increased service by Metro and increased gas prices by OPEC.
4) I'm sure there was some interesting bike/ped news from the last year, but we'll never know what it was. SCAG didn't discuss cyclists or pedestrians after a single mention on the first page.... and they didn't analyze these travel modes at all.
SCAG is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Southern California.