Survey by SANDAG find Commuters Open to More Transportation Choices screenshot

More than 50 percent of people who drive alone to work indicated that they would choose an alternative commute at least once per week under the right circumstances, according to findings from the 2018 Commute Behavior Survey.

The survey was commissioned by SANDAG to better understand how people in San Diego County and Western Riverside County get to work, and which factors influence their decisions. Survey participants who live in San Diego County indicated they travel about 16 miles each way to get to work, on average, and about eight in ten people who took the survey drive alone to work.

Survey participants indicated that transit travel time improvements, accessibility enhancements, and incentives are important factors that would encourage them to change their travel behavior. Programs that provide a free ride home in case of emergencies, like the SANDAG iCommute Guaranteed Ride Home Program, were also shown to encourage alternative commute choices. These results show that improving transit reliability and speed and integrating technology solutions could encourage more people to choose alternatives to driving alone.

Transit improvements and technology integration are major components of the “5 Big Moves,” strategies recently shared by SANDAG that will help develop a bold new transportation vision for the San Diego region. The 5 Big Moves aim to provide travelers with choices that are competitive with the car for every trip in the region. These coordinated advances will aid in meeting or exceeding new state greenhouse gas emissions reduction mandates.

“People who took this survey told us they want better and easier access to transit before they change the way they travel,” said SANDAG Chair and Poway Mayor Steve Vaus. “The Mobility Hubs and Flexible Fleets strategies proposed in the 5 Big Moves could help create a seamless travel experience and provide more convenient transportation options.”

Additionally, more than eight in ten people expressed interest in a user-friendly mobile app that would allow them to plan, book, and pay for their transportation options in one place. The Next Operating System (Next OS) outlined in the 5 Big Moves enables the development of this app. It collects, aggregates, and analyzes all the data from various transportation services and uses that data to integrate modes and provide real-time information that informs the traveling public. In the future, the Next OS will allow for a truly integrated app for trip planning, booking, and payment across modes (public and private) – you will simply enter a destination and go.

Approximately 4,000 people participated in the survey, and the results were shared with the SANDAG Transportation Committee on Friday, May 17. SANDAG will use information gathered from the survey to help inform regional planning efforts and to improve mobility in San Diego County.

For more information about the 2021 Regional Plan and 5 Big Moves to deliver a bold new transportation vision, please visit

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