Monday, June 20, 2016

Nearly everyone DRIVES to work. Facts are an inconvenient thing to One Bay Area Planners

It's Crucial Not to Forget That Nearly Everyone Still Drives to Work

In every urban demographic group in our State of City poll, the majority commuted by car.


If you live in one of America's major cities, mobility often feels inextricably linked to public transportation. New York City couldn't function without its iconic subway. Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles have made big expansions to their metros. Chicago and San Francisco are planning state-of-the-art rapid bus lines to complement their rail systems. Even historically sprawling, car-reliant cities like Denver, Phoenix, and Houston are betting on light rail to guide their future growth.

Amid news of all this transit growth, it's far too easy to forget that on any given day, most city residents still drive to work. The Atlantic Media/Siemens State of the City poll is a sobering reminder of that reality. Among every single urban demographic group—let alone non-urban groups—the majority of respondents commuted by car.
Let's start with all 897 poll respondents who had a job (out of a total sample of 1,656): 84 percent drove to work, with just 5 percent taking the bus, 3 percent traveling by rail, and 3 percent walking or cycling. The car commute share among suburban (85 percent) and rural respondents (92 percent) did exceed this overall automobile share. But city residents weren't far behind: 78 percent drove to work, with 8 percent taking the bus, 6 percent the train or subway, and 4 percent going by bike or on foot.
In other words, the numbers belie the stereotypes that suburbanites drive while urbanites ride. On the contrary, even among urban-only sub-demographics, an overwhelming majority of respondents commuted by car.
Take an area we'd expect to find a major commute-mode disparity: race. There was, indeed, a significant racial difference here, as 85 percent of urban white respondents commuted by car, compared with 70 percent of urban non-white respondents. But that's still seven in ten non-whites driving to work. The minorities so often associated with city transit are themselves huge minorities when it comes to commuting: only 14 percent take the bus, and 7 percent the train or subway.

Money didn't matter as much as one might think, either, at least along this poll's main income divide of $50,000 a year. About 82 percent of urban residents making north of that number drove to work, compared with 76 percent making less—a statistically insignificant difference. (Income did matter on the bus: only 4 percent of the higher-income group rode, compared with 11 percent of the lower.) The education gap was even narrower: 77 percent of urban respondents with a college degree drove, against 79 percent of those without one.

See the full story HERE

No comments:

Post a Comment