This section examines the travel characteristics of minority and disadvantaged population groups in terms of their regular means of transportation to work and proximity to transit. In order to better understand the impact of the long-range transportation plan on minority and disadvantaged groups, it is important to understand how these population groups use the current transportation system. Information on means of transportation to work is available from the 2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-year averages, and 2000 Census.
Means of Transportation to Work
The 2005-2009 ACS Averages show that driving was the dominant means of transportation to work for the general population in the Washington Metropolitan region. During this time period, 66% percent of the region’s workers drove to work alone (SOV- Single Occupancy Vehicle) and 11% participated in carpools. Nearly 15% of workers commuted by public transportation (bus and rail), 3% walked, and about 0.5% biked to work. Just under 1% of workers used other means of transportation such as motorcycle or taxi to commute to work, and approximately 4% worked from home. The graph below shows the percentage of workers from different population groups commuting by different modes of transportation for the time period from 2005-2009. Amongst all population groups, driving alone was the main means of transportation to work, and all minority and disadvantaged groups were more likely to carpool than the general population. The Hispanic and Latino population group had the highest carpool rate (21%), followed by the low-income group (14%). In addition, Public transportation use was more likely amongst all minority and disadvantaged groups than the general population except for the Asian population group. The percent of workers commuting by public transportation (bus and rail) was the highest for the low-income group (24%), followed by the Black and African American group (21%), and Hispanic and Latino group (17%).
NOTE: Information on travel characteristics of the limited English speaking population and persons with disabilities were not available from the 2005-2009 ACS averages.
Proximity to Transit
Many of the region’s workers are dependent on the transit systems that serve the jurisdictions in the Washington metro area. By 2030 the transit system is expected to grow to include many more Metrorail stations, light rail stations, and bus stops based on the projects that are included in the 2010 CLRP. Based on the 2030 network, and the current geographic distribution of the population, an estimated 14% of the general population will live within close proximity to a Metrorail or light rail station, and 55% will live in close proximity to a bus stop in 2030. All minority and disadvantaged groups are more likely than the general population to live near a Metrorail or light rail station with the exception of the Asian Population group, and all groups are more likely than the general population to live near a bus stop in 2030. The low-income group is the most likely to live near both rail and bus transit stops in 2030.
Summary of Analysis Results
Driving alone (SOV) is the dominant means of transportation to work for the general population and for each of the demographic groups - 66% of all workers use this mode
Compared to the general population, minority and disadvantaged groups are more likely to carpool and commute by bus except for the Asian population
Low-income workers are twice as likely to walk to work, compared to the general population
Minority and disadvantaged groups are more likely to live near future bus stops and Metrorail stations compared to the general population.