For the first time in decades, regional mode shares are changing. While three-quarters of residents still drive to work, the share of residents making this choice has declined by 5 percentage points since 2000. In fact, this trend has accelerated – nearly half of those gains occurred in the last four years. Concurrently, transit mode shares increased by 2 percentage points in the last four years – the first time this share has markedly increased in more than five decades. Walking and biking to work have also become more popular, especially in San Francisco where active transportation has posted the greatest gains in recent years.
Notably, though, these shifts are being driven solely by the central Bay Area. Mode shares in the North Bay and South Bay remained relatively consistent between 2006 and 2014, but this was certainly not the case in the central Bay Area. The auto mode share dropped from 73 percent to 68 percent in eight years, with residents shifting to non-auto modes instead. In particular, this is driven by booming BART and Caltrain ridership in suburban communities and by higher rates of active transportation in San Francisco.