Downtown Denver Commuter Survey Results 2011
The commuting habits of Downtown Denver’s 110,000 employees have a significant impact on Downtown, environmentally and functionally. As part of its goal to make Downtown Denver a vibrant enjoyable and sustainable place, the Downtown Denver Partnership conducts an annual commuter survey. The survey is now available online here.
Key findings from the report show that Downtown Denver is a transit-friendly downtown, where commuters utilize active transportation (bicycling, walking, transit) at a much higher rate than at the city, metro, and national levels. Findings also show that providing transit incentives (partially or fully paid transit passes) will encourage transit use. Looking at the demographic trends in and around Downtown Denver, the area is poised to become increasingly attractive to the future workforce with its investment in transit.
Downtown Denver: A Transit Friendly Downtown
- Downtown Denver has significantly higher rates of transit use (36%) than the City of Denver (6%), the Denver-Broomfield-Aurora Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) (4%), and the nation as a whole (5%).
Downtown Denver commuters use Active Transportation
- 46% of Downtown Denver commuters
travel via active transportation, compared to just 12% in the City of Denver, 7% in the Denver MSA, and 8% in the nation. Active transportation is travel with activity involved (bicycling, walking, transit).
- Downtown Denver has a high bicycle mode share (6.3%) compared to the City of Denver’s 2.2% bicycle mode share.
- The number of those who bike and walk to work in Downtown Denver is up to over 10% and this number has been steadily increasing over the past three years. This compares to just 6% in the City of Denver, 3% in the Denver MSA, and 3% in the United States.
- Most Downtown Denver employees (66%) receive some type of transit pass from their employer.
- The most valued transportation benefit is the Eco-Pass (62%).
- When an employer pays for a transit pass, over half of the Downtown commuters surveyed will take transit to work (53%) and driving alone dips down to 32%. However, when employers do not offer the incentive of paying for a transit pass, 53% drive alone to work.
- America’s two largest demographic groups, the baby boomers and the millennials, are moving in increasing numbers into dense, urban areas and are changing the nation’s transportation patterns. These groups are seeking “walkable and social environments,” where they do not necessarily need to own a car, and where they can “downsize” their lifestyle. Eighty percent of younger Americans would prefer to live in an urban environment (PUMA, 2011) and since 2000, the number of college-educated 25-34 year olds has increased twice as fast in the close-in neighborhoods of the nation’s largest cities as in the remainder of these metropolitan areas (CEOs for Cities, 2011). The City of Denver is a “top gainer” in terms of domestic migration from 25-34 year olds (Brookings, 2011), so Denver can expect to see the shifts in transportation habits continue.