June 2014

Young Washington Gets Around

Young Washington gets around. We already knew that, of course. The question is—how?

Thanks to feedback from readers, 730DC can answer that question, if only partially.

Before we arrive at the (thrilling) conclusions, a note on the selection of our question. Modern life, streamlined as it is by the production-seeking forces of capitalism, still exhibits one confounding flaw: it renders its citizen-employees mostly useless to themselves and to their employers for up to two hours a day.

I’m talking, of course, about the commute. Cities do a lot to reduce this inefficiency; they reduce travel time and distance, and make possible energy-efficient means of transit (walk, bike, mass) that are better for the planet. Public transit, of course, is the biggest piece of the puzzle. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a pensive gaze out the rain-soaked window of a city bus, and there’s certainly no better place to espy Washington’s young people looking their best on their way to work. But everyone has a metro horror story–#unsuckDCmetro is a popular hashtag for a reason.

How does young Washington navigate this mess–literally and figuratively? Some of our key thoughts on why these questions have broad significance:

  • Use of public transit would seem to correspond with appreciation for good central planning and public goods
  • Preference for biking might mean greater emphasis on health, sustainability, and the outdoors
  • Uber is a wild card, signaling a belief in the ability of technology to eliminate inefficiencies (whether or not there are problematic politics involved)

With no further ado, our results (here’s the original poll). We’d love to hear what you think they mean! I’ll be doing some follow-up to check these numbers against those from other studies.

How do you get to work?

Metro: 32%

Bus: 17%

Drive: 7%

Bike, etc: 22%

Walk: 14%

Key stat: Twice as many readers walk to work as do drive.

Do you have a bike?

Yes and love it: 30%

Yes and don’t love it: 1%

No and don’t want one: 51%

No but want one: 20%

Key stat: Bike riders love their bikes by a ratio of 23-to-1.

Do you have Car2Go?

Yes and love it: 22%

Yes and don’t love it: 14%

No and don’t want one: 43%

No but want one: 22%

Key stat: 40% of Car2Go don’t love the service.

Do you taxi/rideshare?

Don’t: 10%

Hail from street: 67%

Hailo: 10%

Lyft: 14%

Uber: 81%

Key stat: Uber’s sheer dominance.