Saturday, May 9, 2009

Newsflash: BART Riders Live in the Bay Area's Urban Core

BART has released its one-a-decade census of rider activity. Transit geeks rejoice. BART is even encouraging the statistically-inclined among us to show them things they haven't discovered buried in the data.

Two points from the official intergovernmental web page on the report:
  • More walkers and bicyclists. Compared to 1998, more customers are walking or bicycling from home to BART. (The percentage coming to BART by car stayed the same, and the percentage using other transit to connect to BART went down.)
  • Access modes vary considerably by station. The percentage of passengers driving alone from home is highest at North Concord/Martinez (72%) and lowest at Powell (1%). Walking from home is highest at 16th St. Mission (81%) and lowest at Orinda (3%).

It should be of no surprise that ultra-Eastern CoCo County has the highest single-occupant driving rate or that Powell has the lowest. But 1% is insane, that's essentially zero people who drive to Powell. BART Directors: please note that this is how you build a car-free BART station.

16th Street is not in the Bay Area's densest residential neighborhood, but it's not completely surprising that it could be its most walkably dense area. Orinda is neither BART's least dense municipality nor its station with the least walkable surroundings so it's low walk rate might be assumed to be a result if its butting up against the Caldecott Tunnel. But 3% is also essentially zero, and a BART station with so few walk-ins should be redesigned to encourage street access.

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