2003 Arlington County SOV Driving Trip Reduction Study

The purpose of this study was to identify ways to reduce the number of Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) driving trips.


Driving Trip Characteristics:

  • The average household made 31.7 weekly trips by driving.
  • The average mileage driven was 144.2 miles per week.
  • The average number of SOV commuting driving trips, among those who work outside the home, was 6.9 trips per week.
  • The average number of non-commuting driving trips was 26.3 trips per week.

Commuting Patterns:

  • The majority said they commuted in SOV; only a quarter said they commuted by Metrorail.
  • The majority said they were employed in either Washington, DC or Arlington County.
  • Saving time was the key factor influencing commuting decisions.
  • Changes in job location or home address were the events more likely to initiate a reevaluation of commuting decisions.

Awareness and Perceptions Regarding Transportation Options:

  • Awareness of alternatives to SOV driving was very high – respondents were most aware of Metrorail and Metrobus.
  • Almost all reported that they believe they have good access to public transportation.

Opportunities for SOV Driving Reduction:

  • Commuting driving trips were said to be more readily replaced with alternative forms of transportation than were non-commuting trips.
  • But commuters noted that a large share of their driving trips could be made using another form of transportation.
  • Residents estimated they could make one-third of their non-commuting driving trips using another form of transportation.
  • Residents said they are reluctant to give up their cars.
  • Residents said they are more likely to plan ahead to combine trips than to seek out carpools or investigate other means of transportation.


  • Mode of Data Collection – Random Digit Dialing Telephone Survey
  • Completed Surveys – 500 Respondents
  • Survey Population – Resident of Arlington County; ages 18 and older; Licensed drivers; Have at least one vehicle in the household
  • Survey Instrument – Telephone Questionnaire with CATI Interviewing


Full Presentation (PDF): TRIP Research Report Highlights

Technical Summary (PDF): Summary – 2003 Arlington County SOV Driving Trip Reduction STUDY


Contact the ACCS Research Team for more information.


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