Travel survey shows more people walking, using transit

Across the Puget Sound region, more people are taking transit and walking, while driving and riding in personal vehicles is decreasing.

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Trips are shifting away from driving alone

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.

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All ages show a decrease in driving alone but the trend is most pronounced in younger age groups.

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.

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Transit work trips increasing to Seattle’s core centers

More commuters to downtown Seattle and other core areas are using transit to get to work, according to a PSRC travel survey.

Mode Share for Work Trips to Seattle Core

From 2006 to 2014, there was an increase in transit use and a decrease in driving alone to work in Downtown Seattle, South Lake Union, Uptown and First Hill/Capitol Hill.

Regionally, the overall mode shares for all trips (including non-commute) have shifted somewhat as well. Some of the increase in the walk share shown below comes from better methodology in which we were very careful to remind people to capture every short trip they took.

The data comes from the Puget Sound Travel Study, which surveyed more than 6,000 households throughout King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties from urban, suburban, and rural locations last year.

Regional Mode Share Chart

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