Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Results of the Solo Car Commuter Satisfaction Survey

The last response to the survey was timestamped 6/23, so I decided it was time to look at the results.

There were 177 responses. While I did post this survey elsewhere, I believe that most of the responses probably came from Publibbers.

The averages were as follows:

one-way distance to commute: 11 to 15 miles
number of stop signs: 1 to 5
number of traffic lights: 6 to 10
average speed limit off the highway: 25 to 30
minutes willing to walk to public transportation: no more than 10
minutes willing to wait for a bus or train: 15 to 30

Satisfaction with commute: on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the
best and 10 the worst, the average is about a 4.

Correlations (-1.0 to +1.0) were as follows:

Our unhappiness with our commute correlates with the distance traveled by a factor of 0.6

The correlation with the number of stop signs was insignificant: 0.08

The number of traffic lights matters a little more, at 0.22

The higher the speed limit on the non-highway roads, the happier we are, with a correlation of -0.3, but there were many "does not apply" responses from the folks who spend more than half of their commute on the highway.

We're willing to wait for the next bus or train about 15 to 30 minutes on average, but that appears to be independent of how happy or unhappy we are with our present commute. Correlation: -0.09

The more unhappy we are with our current commute, the longer we'd be willing to walk to catch a bus or train. Correlation: 0.28

I had expected that the number of stop signs and traffic lights would matter more than they do, but I'm not surprised that the most significant factor is the distance. City planners are going to have to increase the frequency of those trains and buses if they want to get more people out of their cars, and this is something that I used to harp on in my previous hometown, where the buses run every hour, so I'm gratified to see those numbers.

The raw data can be seen here (and downloaded, too, I think).


Thank you to everyone who responded, and to everyone who caught the flaws, and to everyone who had suggestions for improving the questions--some I fixed, and some I'm saving for another time.

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