In 2015, Arlington County conducted the Arlington Resident Travel Survey. The purpose of this survey was to document a profile of residents’ commute patterns and non-work travel, their opinions and attitudes about travel, and the services they use to make travel easier.
One goal of the survey was to compare travel patterns and transportation opinions in various Arlington areas. Thus, survey interviews were collected in five separate sampling areas that covered the entire county. Two of the areas, Rosslyn-Ballston corridor (Metro Orange line) and Jefferson Davis Highway corridor (Metro Blue line) corresponded to areas of the county directly served by Metrorail subway lines. Two other areas, Columbia Pike and Shirlington, represented non-Metro areas of particular interest for county planning.
The fifth area, “Other” Arlington, was comprised of the remaining parts of the county. Due to substantial differences in the demographics of this large area, during the analysis it was subsequently sub-divided into Other Arlington (North) and Other Arlington (South), with Route 50 presenting the dividing line between North and South. The survey analysis examined differences in responses by area for many survey questions.
This Executive Summary presents highlights of the Internet survey results on the following topics:
- Commute patterns
- Non-work travel patterns
- Availability of public transporation
- Quality of life, transportation satisfaction, and transportation needs
- Awareness and influence of marketing campaign
- Awareness and use of of Arlington travel assistance resources
- Commuter assistance services provided by employers
- Employed residents made nearly six in ten commute trips using a non-drive-alone mode.
- Nearly two-thirds of Arlington commuters teleworked at least occasionally. About 17 percent teleworked one or more days per week.
- Many commuters were long-time users of their mode, but commuters continued to shift among modes.
- County-wide, commuters traveled an average of 7.9 miles and 31 minutes one-way to work.
- About half of Arlington commuters were satisfied with their commutes.
Non-work Travel Patterns
- Nearly all (97 percent) respondents made a recent non-work trip. Shopping, errands, and restaurant/meal trips were made most frequently.
- About half of respondents made a non-work trip by walking and three in ten made a non-work trip by transit.
- Respondents who did not use transit for non-work trips gave reasons related to perceived disadvantages of transit service and trip characteristics that made transit an unfeasible choice for that trip.
Availability of Public Transportation
- Six in ten respondents lived within one mile of a Metrorail station.
- Use of transit for both commuting and non-work travel declined with increasing distance to a bus stop.
- Eight in ten respondents said that at least one transit service improvement would encourage them to use transit more often. The most valued improvements would shorten transit wait time and travel time.
Quality of Life, Transportation Satisfaction, and Transportation Needs
- Nine in ten commuters gave a high rating for quality of life. Two-thirds were satisfied with Arlington’s transportation system.
- Seven in ten (69 percent) respondents were satisfied with transportation services in their home neighborhood, but satisfaction varied by home area.
- Respondents gave approximately equal weight to the need to invest in transit enhancements and in road maintenance.
- The most important features in respondents’ mode choice decisions were total travel time and travel time reliability or predictability.
Awareness and Influence of Marketing Campaigns
- One-third of all respondents recalled seeing or hearing an informational message related to transportation in Arlington.
Awareness and Use of Arlington County Travel Assistance Resources
- Awareness and use of travel information and assistance resources was quite high across the county.
- More than six in ten respondents who lived in a multi-family building or complex said their building or complex offered travel information and assistance services.
Commuter Assistance Services Provided by Employers
- Nearly eight in ten (78 percent) employed respondents reported having at least one worksite commute assistance services available. Two-thirds (65 percent) of those who had services available had used them.
- Less than half (46 percent) of employed respondents had free worksite parking.
- Worksite commuter assistance services and parking charges appeared to encourage use of alternative modes.
- Blog Post and Press Release: Arlington residents benefit from an unusually large range of transportation options
- Related blog posts:
- Full infographic: The Arlington Way of Life: A look at how Arlington residents get to work
- Individual infographics:
- How Arlington residents get to work by modeshare
- How satisfied they are with their commute modes
- The average miles and time of commutes, based on different modes
- Which other areas they are commuting to throughout the Washington D.C., region
- Commuting modes for different neighborhoods, and
- How Arlingtonians would improve transportation if they each had $100 to divvy up for it.