Monday, November 25, 2013

Driving Alone vs. Taking the Bus in Thurston County 2012

I love the data from the American Community Surveys, so much so I wish the Census started doing them in earnest earlier than 2005. So much interesting data, but only back less than a decade.

I started poking around the commuter data this week for Thurston County, and found some interesting comparisons between people who drove alone and people who took the bus (or public transportation in general).

The first comparison on income is pretty obvious. For drivers, it peaks in the middle and drops off at the ends. Nothing too interesting. For bus takers, the peaks are at the ends, with a much larger peak towards lower incomes. There is a pretty interesting spike at $75,000+ for public transportation, not sure how I'd explain that.
This chart I think starts to get into the deeper difference between drivers and bus riders. Again, you see a broad diversity in the drivers, they seem to leave when it is convenient. For bus riders, I think what we're seeing is a hard pipeline of when they have to leave for work, since the buses will only get them there on time at certain times. You also don't see commuters taking the bus early in the morning, since the bus doesn't run that early in the morning.
This last one shows the greatest difference, I think, between the two groups.  Again, general diversity across the drivers. But, no one takes the bus for commutes less than 20 minutes. In fact, if you do take the bus, you're likely taking it for at least an hour.

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