Response of Washington State Residents to Higher Transportation Costs and Energy Shortages

The objective of this research was to examine the effects of higher transportation costs and energy shortages on the public's travel behavior patterns. Telephone interviews of approximately 15 minutes in length were conducted with 2,500 residents of the State of Washington. Residents of metropolitan, urban and rural areas were included. The households interviewed were selected by a random computer search of telephone numbers. Respondents of metropolitan, urban and rural areas were included. The questionnaire dealt with the travel habits of the household rather than just the person being interviewed. Travel to work, local travel, intermediate and long distance travel, recreational travel, use of public transit and vehicle ownership trends were topics covered in the interviews. The household's travel patterns two years prior to the interview, as well as current behavior and future plans were included. Overall, 58 percent of the respondents reported that the travel habits of members of their household had been modified. The most frequently mentioned modification was a decrease in the amount of travel. Nearly one-fourth of the respondents have switched their form of travel in the last two years; thirty percent indicate they will do so in the future. Public transit is used mainly for travel to work and shopping, and where there is currently local transit service, one-third of those who have such service indicated that they or members of their household rode the bus for some purpose. The number of vehicles owned by households has remained quite stable in the past two years and will continue so in the future. When a new vehicle has been acquired, two-thirds of the time it is more economical to operate than the one it replaced.

Publication Date: 
Saturday, August 1, 1981
Publication Number: 
WA-RD 042.2
Last modified: 
10/12/2016 - 15:40
Evan Iverson, Robert Jacobson, Brian Limotti.
Washington (State). Public Transportation and Planning Division. Planning Implementation Section.
Number of Pages: 
Automobiles, Behavior, Costs, Energy consumption, Energy resources, Intermodal transportation, Interviewing,Private transportation, Public transportation, Rapid transit, Surveys, Travel behavior, Travel budgets, Travel costs, Travel demand, Travel patterns, Trip length, Work trips.