Means of Transportation to Work
The data on means of transportation to work were derived from answers to Question 30, which was asked of people who indicated in Question 28 that they worked at some time during the reference week. (See "Reference Week.") Means of transportation to work refers to the principal mode of travel or type of conveyance that the worker usually used to get from home to work during the reference week.
People who used different means of transportation on different days of the week were asked to specify the one they used most often, that is, the greatest number of days. People who used more than one means of transportation to get to work each day were asked to report the one used for the longest distance during the work trip. The category, "Car, truck, or van," includes workers using a car (including company cars but excluding taxicabs), a truck of one-ton capacity or less, or a van. The category, "Public transportation," includes workers who used a bus or trolley bus, streetcar or trolley car, subway or elevated, railroad, or ferryboat, even if each mode is not shown separately in the tabulation. "Carro pÃºblico" is included in the public transportation category in Puerto Rico. The category, "Other means," includes workers who used a mode of travel that is not identified separately within the data distribution. The category, "Other means," may vary from table to table, depending on the amount of detail shown in a particular distribution.
The means of transportation data for some areas may show workers using modes of public transportation that are not available in those areas (for example, subway or elevated riders in a metropolitan area where there is no subway or elevated service). This result is largely due to people who worked during the reference week at a location that was different from their usual place of work (such as people away from home on business in an area where subway service was available), and people who used more than one means of transportation each day but whose principal means was unavailable where they lived (for example, residents of nonmetropolitan areas who drove to the fringe of a metropolitan area, and took the commuter railroad most of the distance to work).
Beginning in 2006, the group quarters (GQ) population is included in the ACS. Some types of GQ populations have means of transportation distributions that are very different from the household population. The inclusion of the GQ population could therefore have a noticeable impact on the means of transportation to work distribution. This is particularly true for areas with a substantial GQ population.
Beginning in 1999, the American Community Survey questions differ from the 1996-1998 questions only in the format of the skip instructions. Beginning in 2004, the category, "Public transportation" was tabulated to exclude workers who used taxicab as their means of transportation.