VERMONT DUMPS THE CAR TO GET TO WORK
2000-2010 VERMONT WORKERS QUIT THE CAR DRIVING AND RIDESHARING TRADITION TO TRAVEL TO WORK…INSTEAD THEY CHOSE WALKING, BICYCLING, PUBLIC TRANSIT, AND MOTORCYCLING
PART 1: STATEWIDE JOURNEY-TO-WORK DATA BY MODE
….of over a 1,100 new workers each year 2000-2008 in Vermont, about 10 or less than 1% chose to ride in a car to work and rest--over 1,000--chose the bicycle, walking, public transit, a mode like the taxi or ferry, public transit, or worked at home
Census data shows only part of the change in Vermont worker journey-to-work during the first decade of the century. The very user-friendly data available online provides national, state, county and city/town tables from the Census of 2000 and from new tabulations which average the data for the 2006-2010 period. By providing a 2006-2010 period of data, it is fair to estimate the growth represented is 2000 to 2008—this analysis will use 2000 to 2008 as the comparison of data.
While the employed Vermont grew by 9,100 for the period less than 100 growth occurred in workers riding in a car to work, a growth rate of 0.0%. Still for 2008, 271,563 or 84.5% of Vermont workers traveled in a car to work, about one percent less than the national average.
Meanwhile though the numbers and percents may be small, all other modes to work grew not only in raw numbers, but also in the share of the commuting populations. Bicycling shows the greatest growth, 2,260 to 3,014 commuters, a 133% increase and a commuter share growth from 0.3% to 0.6%, to just above the national level of 0.5% with cold weather Vermont competing against lots a far warmer states.
The largest growth in commuting from home comes from walking, a growth of 2,223 to 19,778 and mode share of 6.2% more than double the U.S. 2.8% figure.
All told then, walking to work—often termed the “active modes”—increased their share from 5.9% to 6.8% of all commuters and increased its lead over the U.S. share of 3.3%.
Public transit recorded the second largest percent gain—72% in riders—to bicycling’s number one, 133%. Public transit in Vermont trails the U.S. figure of 4.9% of workers using this mode between home and work. During the 2000-2008 Vermont narrowed this gap a little as the public transit mode increased from 1,825 to 3,140, up 72%, in actual commuters, and increasing its Vermont commuting share from 0.6% to 1.0%.
The largest growth in commuting behavior occurs in the work at home category which increased 3,774 to 6.7% of commuter share from 5.7%. Finally, the “other” category which includes taxis, ferry and motorcycle commuting also increased significantly from 2,260 to 3,014, 33%, and commuter mode share increased from 0.7% to 0.9%.
Increase in Commuters by Mode Per Year 2000-2008
One way to describe the change occurring in modal choice by the commuter as “consumer” is to simply show the change in commuters per year per mode. That breakdown from the above data follows for 2000-2008:
Change Per Year in Vermont Commuting by Mode 2000-2008
Public Transit 164
Taxi, Ferry, etc. 94
Work at home 472
Total increase in commuters each year 2000-2008 1,150
The next sections will consider Chittenden County commuter data, City of Burlington commuter data, and extrapolation of the 2000-2008 trend to 2010 and 2020.