Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Commute Trips in King County

The U.S. Census has a report on commute time, distance and methods (they do have lots of data). The average U.S commute time is about 25 minutes and the average distance is 25 miles. I lower the average with a 10 minute commute and a distance of a bit under 1 mile. I am also in a decided minority that commutes on foot - the pleasure cost saving of urban living.

But I do witness Washington State's big commute center on a fairly routine basis as part of working. For non King County commuters King County seems like a place of brutal commutes. The census report on King County Commutes put things in to perspective relative to other places.

King County turns out to pretty average in regards to commute time and commute distance compared to the national numbers.

King County public transportation use of 10.5% is about twice the national average. Fairly impressive given that except for a very limited area served by the new Sound Transit rail, King County public transit commuters must rely on buses. By further comparison public transit use compares well with Multnomah County's (Portland Oregon) 11.9% and Multnomah's public rail system. This may be in part due to the size difference between the two cities and the higher cost of parking in the urban core areas of Seattle. The percent of bikers in King County is 1.5% and again impressive given a national average of 0.6% and the fact Seattle is rainy and very hilly. But Multnomah County's bike percent is an impressive 5.4%.

One more tid bit regarding Portland. Over 46,000 Washington State residences commute into Multnomah County Oregon each day and only 7,000 Multnomah residences commute into Washington State. 

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