SANDAG: County commute hours dramatically reduced since 2006 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

SANDAG: County commute hours dramatically reduced since 2006

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The total number of annual hours lost to traffic jams during commute hours has been reduced by well over half since 2006, according to a report to be released Friday by the San Diego Association of Governments.

The organization attributes the rapid decline to the poor economy, improved freeway infrastructure and a greater use of public transit.

Five years ago, more than 7 million hours of cars were stuck on jammed freeways in San Diego County, according to the report. In 2009, the last year for which figures are available, the total was down to 2.8 million hours.

The greatest improvements were on southbound Interstate 15 in the North County and northbound Interstate 5 from the Sorrento Valley to Cardiff by the Sea, according to SANDAG data. The report will be delivered to the SANDAG Board of Directors.

The only freeway to worsen over the time period was eastbound state Route 78 through San Marcos, which is now the most consistently congested highway in the county.

The SANDAG report said transit use is up 8 percent since 2006, with the bulk of the increase on Metropolitan Transit System buses and the North County Transit District's Sprinter rail line.

The total number of miles traveled by commuters decreased 1.3 percent since 2006, according to the report.

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