2007 Arlington County Residents’ Satisfaction with Transportation Internet Study

As outlined in the 2006-2008 Arlington County Commuter Services (ACCS) Program Research and Evaluation Plan, the purpose of this study was to target those residents who use modes of travel that are less popular (bicycle, walk, transit) and were more difficult to come by in the  2006 Arlington Resident Satisfaction Telephone Study. The primary objective of this study was to explore differences between groups of residents who used various modes of transportation in their needs, characteristics, perspectives, and experiences.



  • Mode use groups are not distinctly different markets – most Arlington residents use both alt modes and drive alone
  • But some differences were noted by dominant mode use: Alt-mode only – younger, less affluent, primarily live in apartments or condos, shorter time in Arlington,  0-1 vehicle in household, work for Fed agency, work in DC; Drive-alone only – older, more affluent, primarily live in single-family houses, longer time in Arlington, 2+ vehicles in household, work in VA; Combination of Alt-mode and Drive-alone – share characteristics of Alt-mode only and Drive-alone only residents, but are more like Drive-alone only.

Motivation for Commuters:

  • Alt mode users were motivated by numerous factors:  Train – Lack of parking, save money, convenience, and avoid congestion; Bus – Lack of parking and receive Metrochek; Bike – Get exercise, save money/time, convenience; Walk – Live close to work and get exercise
  • “No vehicle” was not a significant reason to use alt modes – all alt mode markets include “choice” users who are not dependent on alt modes to travel.
  • Incentives and services help commuters use alt modes for work travel – Four in ten bus riders and half of the train riders and bicyclists said they received some assistance to help them start using alt modes for work.

Alternative Mode Use for Non-Work Trips:

  • Alt mode use for commuting appeared to extend to use for non-work trips as well.
  • Respondents who used alt modes to commute made: same number of non-work trips on work days, but made more of these nonwork trips by alt modes; more non-work trips on days they didn’t work, but made more of these nonwork trips by alt modes
  • than did commuters who drove alone to work.

Awareness and Use of Commute Info:

  • Awareness of Arlington commute organizations was high in all mode groups – But use of all services was higher among alt-mode users than for respondents who only drove alone
  • Bus and train riders were most likely to look for transportation information and transit information was the information most often sought
  • Respondents who used alt modes were most likely to take an action to try to change their commute after receiving information

Relative Ratings for Key Quality of Life Factors:

  • Overall ratings for Quality of Life factors are generally high for all residents and the average for residents in all mode groups was 3.9 or higher on a 5-point scale.
  • Bus riders rate Quality of Life factors generally lower than do other residents
  • Bicyclists rate Quality of Life factors higher than do other mode groups
  • Ratings for “transportation system” and “getting around” were very close for all mode groups, but respondents who drove alone rated these features low relative to residents in other mode groups.

Mode Group Ratings for Transportation Factors:

  • There were small differences in ratings by mode group for most features.  Difference of 0.20 + between low and high score for choice, trip time, and dependability.
  • Ratings for importance of features had more variability by mode group – difference of 0.2 + from low to high score for all features except safety.
  • Bicyclists rate satisfaction with transportation higher than do other mode users, but give less importance to transportation factors than do other mode groups.
  • Respondents who drove alone rated several factors, including safety, cost, and comfort, lower than did other mode groups.


  • Mode of Data Collection – Online Survey using SIR Interfeedback®; Completed Surveys 810 Respondents Total; the distribution by mode group was as follows – Drive alone (301 work trips, 690 total trips);Train (253 work trips, 493 total trips); Bus (75 work trips, 271 total trips); Car/Vanpool (22 work trips, 244 total trips); Bicycle (101 work trips, 125 total trips); Walk (21 work trips, 375 total trips); Alt-mode only (94 work trips, 116 total trips); Alt-mode and Drive-alone (448 work trips, 542 total trips); Drive-alone only (111 work trips, 153 total trips); Those who made at least one trip in the particular mode were put into the category and many were put into multiple categories.
  • Survey Population – It is very important to note that the survey population was not random, but those who use alternate modes were targeted in order to get a large sample size
  • Survey Instrument  – Online questionnaire that mirrored the questionnaire used in the 2006 Arlington Resident Telephone Study, adapted for online use. 
  • Criteria for Participation – Resident of Arlington Count,. Age 18 and Older


Full Presentation (PDF):  2007 AC Residents Satisfaction Internet FINAL REPORT

Technical Summary (PDF):  Summary – 2007 AC Residents Satisfaction Internet STUDY

Survey Questionnaire (PDF):  2007 AC Residents Satisfaction Internet QUESTIONNAIRE


Contact the ACCS Research Team for more information.

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