Citing SANDAG’s figures, Bailey says more than 50 percent of local transportation dollars are spent to move just 3.5 percent of commuters while roughly 13.5 percent of funs are spent on roads and highways.
He also points to relatively stagnant public transportation ridership rates while traffic congestion balloons in San Diego County.
“I can't foresee us moving people around on fixed routes on large empty buses and also really expensive trolley lines,” said Bailey, “I think people are going to be looking for more nimble solutions such as a autonomous vehicles and ride share options.”
Transit advocates say shifting funds from public transportation as Bailey suggests would have a negative impact on those who already use it.
“About 64,000 households in the San Diego County area don't have a car and it’s just absurd to think that we're going to take away their primary means of transportation,” said Colin Parent, executive director of Circulate San Diego.
Parent agrees with Bailey that the ridership figure is small but says the answer is growing that figure, not stifling it by shrinking its budget.
SANDAG will vote later this on its multi-decade regional transit plan.