More people are taking public transit to downtown jobs, while driving alone is decreasing. A new study by Commute Seattle and the Seattle Department of Transportation shows some important shifts in commuting habits as the city heads into what could be a grueling few years for traffic in Seattle's core.
48% of commuters used public transit get downtown during the morning rush in 2017, while 25% drove alone, according to the study, which was done by the City of Seattle, King Co. agencies, Sound Transit, the Downtown Seattle Association, and Commute Seattle, a non-profit organization working to help commuters drive less.
The solo driving rate decreased from 2010 to 2017, even as the number of downtown jobs increased, the study found. 35% of commuters drove to work by themselves in 2010. That figure dropped to 25% in 2017.
Public transit use went up over the same period, from 42% in 2010 to 48% in 2017, thanks largely to expanded light rail service.
The next few years have the potential to be quite difficult for anyone trying to get through downtown, as the viaduct comes down and construction on Alaskan Way begins. There's also construction on the convention center, and the downtown transit tunnel will close to buses, forcing them onto surface streets.
Add in the Center City Connector streetcar construction, and many people are already rethinking how they get to and from work in an already jammed part of the city.