Across the Puget Sound region, more people are taking transit and walking, while driving and riding in personal vehicles is decreasing.
This trend is amplified in the densest urban areas and most regional growth centers, and strongest among younger residents.
Since 1999, the region has seen a substantial shift away from drive-alone (SOV) shares to transit, though driving and riding in passenger vehicles is still the primary way that people get around the region.
For all trip purposes, the share of trips by driving alone (SOV) decreased from 48 percent in 1999, to 44 percent by 2006, and continued downward to around 42 percent by 2014. Meanwhile, the number of carpool (HOV) trips also decreased slightly.
Trips to Regional Growth Centers
Among the regional growth centers, the largest drops in SOV and HOV shares occurred in Seattle’s South Lake Union, Capitol Hill/First Hill, Downtown, and in Redmond’s Overlake and Downtown neighborhoods.
Personal vehicle shares to South Lake Union were cut in half between 2006 and 2014, while transit share increased by 50 percent and walking shares more than tripled. This change seems to reflect the boom of office, retail, and housing in the area within the past decade.
Mode Share by Age
Looking at mode shares by age, the most significant decreases in auto use between 2006 and 2014 were among younger travelers.
Ages 18-24 saw the largest drop from over 85 percent auto trip share in 2006 to around 70 percent auto in 2014 (for all trip purposes). Those aged 25-34 saw auto modes decrease to around 74 percent over the same time as well. The trend is less pronounced for other age groups, but no age group experienced increases in auto shares between 2006 and 2014.
This data comes from the Puget Sound Travel Survey, which surveyed more than 6,000 households throughout King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties from urban, suburban, and rural locations last year.
You can learn more in the latest issue of Puget Sound Trends.