ACS Data Dive: Twin Cities Mode Share Changes

New 5-year estimates from the American Community Survey are out, which give everyone the first update of Census tract-level data since the 2000 Census.  If you haven’t explored the New York Times Mapping America tool for some of the broader trends (race, income, housing and education), make sure to check it out.

I pulled out some journey to work data (mode and travel time) for the seven county Twin Cities area since the New York Times didn’t include any transportation information and I was curious.  I’ll be sharing some interesting things I find over the next week.  You can download my raw data set here.

The first thing I looked at was simply the change in mode share for travel to work for the metro as a whole.  Mode share increased for working at home (which could be telecommuting) and bicycling.  Mode share for telecommuting rose almost 3/4 of a percent, while bicycling was up a little less than 1/2 of a percent.  However, if you look at change in total commuters for each mode, the number of cycling commuters increased over 90% since 2000, while the number of telecommuters increased 25%.  Driving alone, carpooling and walking all lost mode share, noticeably, carpooling was down over 1 percentage point.  Transit stayed nearly static.

Next time I’ll dive a little deeper into these changes in bike and telecommuting mode share and map how changes are happening across the metro.

5 thoughts on “ACS Data Dive: Twin Cities Mode Share Changes

  1. It’s troubling to me that the carpooling mode share is declining. At least it seems to be declining at a slower pace here than in the rest of the country. I noticed that trend a few months ago when Yonah over at The Transport Politic declared that rail transit reduced the use of cars (unfortunately, as he updated the article with more data, his argument seemed to evaporate).

    Carpooling probably isn’t being promoted enough anymore. The other mode shares are not growing enough to keep up with its decline. That was the feeling I got from Yonah’s numbers, anyway.

    There is a curious gap in the numbers on this page. The 2000 numbers add up to 99.6%, while the 2009 numbers add up to 99.3%. The automotive mode share (single-occupancy and carpool modes combined) shrank by 1.4% while the share of everything else rose by 1.1%. Any idea what is growing to make up that gap?

  2. This table does not include the “other” category for travel mode, and I didn’t include taxis, which was an option in the ’09 data. These two likely explain the variation and the fact that the columns don’t add to 100%.

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