Drivers spending more time in Puget Sound-area traffic

The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) said this spring that area drivers are spending more time stuck in traffic even though more commuters are taking public transportation.

Between 2010-14, delays on the region’s freeways climbed by more than 50 percent as ridership on buses, ferries and trains increased 11 percent. Officials say the increased delays threaten the region’s economy and the residents' quality of life.

The statistics come from PSRC’s Transportation Policy Board, which issued a report titled "Stuck in Traffic." It noted that employment has grown faster than population, especially in King and Snohomish counties. In the four-year period, the area has grown by 144,000 people and added 167,000 jobs.

There were 17 million more transit boardings, even though service hours were cut by more than 6 percent. Transit ridership has topped pre-recession levels and continues to rise while vanpool ridership is up, too. Traffic delays are greater on both general and HOV lanes, said the report.