Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Travel Decision Survey 2014

A comment from a reader:

The SFMTA has now posted their mode share market research study as well. Even less biking than previously thought.

Okay, but this study (Travel Decisions Survey 2014) is from a poll that also interviews people from around the Bay Area about how they get to the city. (The same company did the 2011 Mode Share Survey that polled just city residents and found that 3.4% of all trips in the city are by bicycle.)

Hence, the 2% bicycle number includes not only city residents but also how people in the Bay Area get to San Francisco and get around the city when they get here. Since few people ride bikes to get to San Francisco, that percentage is bound to be low. And presumably few people drive to the city and then rent a bicycle to get around. On page 8 we learn that "Data combined by assuming that among trips taken in San Francisco: 76% are trips by San Francisco residents and 24% are trips by residents of other Bay Area counties."

The MTA had the same poll done last year with essentially the same results. Maybe they hope that if they keep doing it the results will be different. We know that the city is unhappy with the 3.4% share of trips by bike and would like to see it a lot higher to justify redesigning our streets for that small minority.

The survey's purpose, page 3:

The primary goals of this study were to:  Assess percent mode share for travel in San Francisco for evaluation of the SFMTA Strategic Objective 2.3: Mode Share target of 50% non-private auto travel by FY2018... Evaluate the above statement based on the following parameters: number of trips to, from, and within San Francisco by Bay Area residents.

That is, the city wants to know how well its anti-car policies are working, and it doesn't seem to making much progress.

Note on page 9 that "Females" represent only 1% of those polled that travel by bicycle, while the testerone-fueled "Males" are 3%, that darned gender gap that frustrates the Bicycle Coalition. Note too on page 16 that 96% of those polled in S.F. have never tried Bike Share.

The study makes it clear "that trips by visitors[tourists] to the Bay Area and for commercial purposes are not included," since the city knows that most tourists---16.9 million in 2013---drive to the city in their own cars or fly in and rent a car after they get here.

Not include people driving into the city for "commercial purposes"? Most of the people who are "driving alone" and "car-pooling" are going to work, but apparently that doesn't qualify as a commercial purpose. Ditto for all delivery trips, even though all our goods are delivered by trucks.

Most people traveling to and around San Francisco still rely on those wicked motor vehicles and, in San Francisco, public transportation, not bicycles.

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