Downtown Seattle Commute Choices

    According to new survey results, telework reached an all-time high among downtown Seattle workers in 2019. The Center City Mode Split Survey indicates that 6% of downtown employees worked remotely or shifted their schedules to avoid peak-hour commutes, with the total number of these “trip” types tripling since 2010. As many as 14% of workers telework at least one day per week.

    Similar to prior years, transit remains the preferred mode of transportation for nearly half (46%) of all center city employees during peak morning commute hours (6 a.m. to 9 a.m.). This translates to more than 135,000 commuters choosing bus, light rail, commuter rail, streetcar and walk-on ferry trips. The number of transit commuters is nearly double the amount of those who drive alone. Here is a breakdown of how commuters travel into downtown Seattle:

    2019 Mode Split pie chart showing the amount of commuters per mode of transit.

    Beating The Squeeze With New Modes

    Last year was a historic one in transportation as commuters used multiple modes to beat Seattle Squeeze impacts. One in four commuters shifted their travel patterns over the past year to better navigate this changing landscape. Additionally, the study finds that 36% of commuters use more than one mode of transportation during the workweek. These multi-modal commuters primarily choose transit and telework.

    From 2010-2019 center city drive alone commutes increased by approximately 6,000 while all other modes grew by approximately 82,000 commutes. The drive alone rate fell nine percentage points since 2010 while downtown added over 90,000 jobs.

    About The Study

    The Center City Mode Split Survey is a biannual survey that studies the travel habits of thousands of downtown Seattle commuters across hundreds of small and large companies. The survey has been conducted since 2010, providing detailed insights into commuter trends for transit, single-occupancy-vehicle (SOV), walking, biking, vanpool, carpool and other modes

    Read our press release or download the full 2019 report.

    Download 2019 infographics.

    For more information or media inquiries contact Ryan Bush at 206-613-3248 or by email.

    Previous Mode Split Results:
    2017 Mode Split Survey Results
    2016 Mode Split Survey Results
    2014 Mode Split Survey Results
    2012 Mode Split Survey Results
    2010 Mode Split Survey Results