How We Get to Work - Told Through the Data

June 27, 2017

Here at Kittelson, we like to think of ourselves as transportation nerds. We enjoy philosophical discussions about parking policies as much as we love a good, structured dataset on commute patterns. This is because it’s interesting to know things like the average commuting distance in the Portland metropolitan area (7.1 miles, of course). But as you can imagine, the way we commute to work is probably different from that of the American Community Survey respondents. (For those that don’t know, the US Census’ American Community Survey is the industry standard for getting “journey to work” commute mode, distance, and time data).
So we set out to build our own commute survey. Thanks to the efforts of Alek Pochowski, we distributed an online survey to all our employees. After a bit of pestering, approximately 73 percent of employees responded. The data were rich in both quantitative and qualitative information—and gave us a window into the commute patterns of transportation nerds.

BASIC STATS

Metric Number
Number of Respondents 143
Offices Represented 17
Number of Trips - Total 1,413
Number of Trips - Drive Solo 664
Number of Trips - Transit 263
Number of Trips - Carpool 67
Number of Trips - Bike/Walk 401
Number of Trips - Telecommute 18

DISTANCE BY SOV%

The first things we wanted to explore were commute distance and commute mode. And of course, we wanted to break it out by office to get some friendly competition going. The graphic below shows that many of our offices commute by single-occupant vehicle (SOV) at a lower rate than the US average (76 percent). The distances to work are more representative of the US average (15 miles one-way), but the variation tells us a lot about the cities and metropolitan areas that we live and work in.

MODE SHARE

Out of the more than 1,400 trips reported by our employees, just less than half were by SOV. This is a lot lower than the national average (76 percent). But not all offices travel to work the same way. The chart below illustrates big differences in mode share when we compare across offices.

AWARDS

What’s an office competition without awards? Based on the survey data, we are proud to present our 2016 commute champions:

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