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How Houston commutes

Great post from Greg that looks at how people in some Census tracts get to work. One point to highlight:

The Solo Drivers … This is an obviously large portion of the population. But there are some very interesting variations in the extent to which different parts of town score on this count. In general, usege of this mode generally follows wealth and there’s some obvious high points where Metro’s reach isn’t as extensive as it is in other areas. What caught my eye in looking at this group, however, was the differences in some of the areas in the far northwestern part of the county. You can get a sense of that from the aggregate numbers, with the Memorial cluster clocking in at 85% and Third Ward clocking in at 60%.

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Public Transportation … A lot of this, again, tracks with income levels. This time, in a negative correlation – lower income areas use more public transportation. There is, of course, one very notable exception. That would be the DT/Rail cluster (13.9%), which has a share of users that compares very favorably with the Third Ward cluster (15.8%). If you compare the DT/Rail cluster to areas where income levels are more appropriate, the comparison looks like a lights-out argument for the advantages of light rail – 3-4X more usage and taking something on the order of 10% of the population out of cars that might otherwise travel by that means.

If public transportation is a good option for people, many of them will choose it. That has many beneficial effects, including less traffic and better land use. How many of the people that will eventually live out by the Grand Parkway do you suppose will drive alone? Now superimpose a 2012 Solutions map on top of what Greg has and think about the effect that will have. What do you suppose the percentage of transit users will look like in the 2020 Census tracts? What might it look like if we invested in rail the way we’ve been investing in highways? Take a look and see what you think.

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One Comment

  1. Greg Wythe says:

    Here are the counts for the cluster outside of 1960, between 249 and 45:

    Total Population – 99,091
    Drove Alone – 80,511 (81.2)
    Carpool (2) – 7,143 (7.2)
    Carpool (3+) – 2,198 (2.2)
    Walk – 1,154 (1.2)
    Bike – 44 (0.0)
    Public Transportation – 2,244 (2.3)
    Work at Home – 4,723 (4.8)

    Very comparable “Drove Alone” numbers to the “Memorial 1” cluster.