Tuesday, October 12, 2010

BikeWalkLee analysis of Lee County trends (compared to national and state trends) in modes of transportation to work: 2000-2009

Last month, the U.S. Census Bureau released 2009 American Community Survey (ACS) data, which includes information on “journey to work”, which allows us to track the trends between the decennial Census, which asks the same question.

Our analysis and graphs can be found on our website (click here). Here are some of the highlights:

• The percentage of people walking to work has declined slightly at all levels (national, state, and Lee County) between 2000 and 2009. However, Lee County’s share continues to be less than half of the national share (1.3% vs. 2.86%), and about 13% less than Florida’s overall share.
• The percentage of people taking public transit to work held steady at all levels between 2008 and 2009. However, the greatest contrast between the national level and the Florida and Lee County levels occurs with the share of people taking public transit to work. Nationally, a worker is 2.6 times more likely to take public transit to work than someone who lives in Florida. In Lee County, the national share is over 7 times greater than Lee County’s share.
• Only on the measure of biking to work does Florida and Lee County out perform the national levels. While biking to work has increased substantially since 2000 at all levels (national, state, county), the rates between 2008 and 2009 held steady at the national level, while it increased 18% in Florida and 20% in Lee County.
• Looking at all forms of alternative transportation, Lee County’s share increased 30% between 2008 and 2009. Although our use of alternative modes of transportation to work is substantially below the national and state levels, at least the numbers are moving in the right direction.

While the ACS data is one of the best sources for tracking trends in walking, biking, or taking transit to work, there are several limitations in using the ACS data, which are detailed in the full analysis on our website.

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