Pedestrian Chronicles

Pedestrian Chronicles: Data Shows Peds and People Below King County Median Income Dominate Light Rail Ridership

Nearly 60 percent of light rail passengers arrive by foot.

By Josh Feit October 4, 2016

Yesterday afternoon, I posted an installment of (my favorite PubliCola feature) Pedestrian Chronicles: Data shows that pedestrians are the fastest growing bloc of Seattle workday commuters.

Here are two more ped chron items:

A) A Sound Transit survey, done late last year prior to the Capitol Hill and UW station openings, found that nearly 60 percent (58.7) get to the stations as pedestrians. That was 19,661 daily boardings. That’s the top group by far. Those who transferred from a bus on board made up the next biggest group at 22 percent.

Biking to the line, coming in at 1.3 percent, was losing to people who get to the train by car, though: 7.8 percent drove to the stop alone and 6.4 percent got dropped off.

The data also shows, though, that ridership is dominated by people who do actually own cars. Nearly 35 percent of ST riders own one car and nearly 33 percent own two cars; those were the top two groups of light rail riders. People who don't own any cars made up 16.5 percent of ridership, the third biggest group.

When it comes to income, more than half of riders, about 58 to 59 percent, fell below King County's median household income—which is around $74,00 for a 2.4 person household.

Wealthy people are riding light rail as well: 28 percent of light rail riders make $100,000 or more.

Screen shot 2016 10 04 at 12.17.36 pm fx2ih8

And B): Yesterday, the Seattle Department of Transportation announced three follow-up Pike/Pine street closure projects; in concert with Capitol Hill Housing, SDOT made the Pike/Pine drag a ped-only zone a handful of times last fall to see if it was a good idea for a regular thing.

The results weren’t clear, so they’re giving it another go.

SDOT said: “After a series of public workshops, meetings, and personal conversations, SDOT will be testing different options for the Pike People Street project.”

The dates are: Friday night October 7 from 11pm to 3am, Thursday, October 13 from 4pm to 10pm, and Sunday, October 16, from 12pm to 4pm. The closures will come with themes and programming—like an artwalk on the Sunday, October 13 closure. 

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