(Originally Posted on Plan Washington Website)
WHAT IT IS
The following data visualization shows for all 50 U.S. states from 2007 through 2011 what percent of daily trips to work occur via different modes of transportation.
Such so-called “mode split” data by state is augmented by data for transit usage within major metro regions via the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. However as noted above transit environmental benefits can depend on percent of seats filled. The “2012 National Transit Summaries and Trends” report from the National Transit Database (p. 23) notes that for all 824 reporting transit systems in the United States in 2012, bus routes had a combined load factor of just 11.2 percent compared to 25.2 percent for light rail, 27.5 for “heavy rail” transit and 35 percent for commuter rail.
WHY IT MATTERS
Generally speaking, the fewer trips in single-occupant vehicles, the less negative environmental impacts. However as for passenger vehicles, transit’s carbon footprint is also lower if the percent of seats filled is higher.
WA CURRENT STANDING
7th best (lowest) out of 50 states for reliance on single occupancy vehicles for work-related trips.
- U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics.