Friday, April 16, 2010

A Week of Transit

For one week I documented my transportation around the city to see how far I traveled and by what mode of transit I travel most often. This does not necessarily reflect a typical week, but for the seven days of April 4-10 I wrote down my destinations and used Google Maps to estimate my distance, and this is what I got. I went out at least once a day, but never more than twice, as I was able to combine multiple destinations into single trips. This documentation only reflects my getting from one place to another, and not the walking around that I do once I get there. Sarah came along with me for most of these trips, but this is meant to follow the urban navigations of one city dweller.

On Sunday, we rode the bus to church 3.3 miles, and walked 0.7 miles getting to and from the bus stops. Our church is located on the other side of the river near the Rose Quarter and Convention Center. Afterwards, a friend gave us a ride home in his car, 4.0 miles. People seem troubled to see us walking to the bus stop, so rides are offered fairly often after church.

Monday I worked my very infrequent part-time job, where I am helping a friend build a house. I got to the site 7.3 miles away, riding with my friend in his car. In the afternoon, I took the MAX (light rail) home, 5.0 miles, and walked 0.5 miles to and from the stations. Luckily, the house we are building is just a few blocks from a MAX station.

The next day, Tuesday, I made one walking trip in which I stopped at three stores. The total loop was 1.8 miles, stopping at Trader Joe's, Ace Hardware, and Fred Meyer; all in the Northwest Neighborhood. We usually get groceries a few times a week so that the bags can be easily carried. We get groceries from Trader Joe's and Fred Meyer fairly equally, and occasionally we shop at Food Front Coop (further away, see Friday) and Zupan's Market (more expensive, and not this week).

Wednesday I went out to the church to help paint the outside of the building. I rode the MAX 2.4 miles, and walked 1.3 miles to and from the stations. Note that the mileage is different than our trip to church on Sunday, as the bus and the MAX take different routes and drop us off different distances from our destination. On the way home, I took the MAX 2.0 miles, stopped at Fred Meyer for some groceries, and walked 1.3 miles before returning home.

On Thursday we didn't have anywhere to go, but Sarah and I took a short walk up the hill to Washington Park. The total trip was 1.0 mile.

Friday was another multi-stop walking trip, again to the Northwest Neighborhood. I stopped at the bank, Food Front Coop, and Trader Joe's. Returning home, I had walked 2.5 miles. Later I walked downtown to Powell's books to browse, and stopped at the mall and a few downtown stores around the mall. I bought a new belt and Sarah bought a scarf. This is the first trip of the week to use three forms of transportation. 1.2 miles on the MAX, 0.5 miles on the Portland Streetcar, and 1.3 miles walking.

Lastly, on Saturday I made a trip to Fred Meyer, for a round trip total of 1.0 mile walking.

For the week I traveled a total of 36.9 miles. By far, the most frequent mode of transportation was walking (9 trips), followed by riding the MAX (4 trips). Since our new apartment is close to a MAX stop and our previous apartment was close to a Streetcar stop, it is interesting to see a switch in usage between these two. In general, I would expect to take more than one bus ride a week but this is just how it happened, and we usually do not rely on rides with friends, though they come along when least expected and are helpful. We would have taken the MAX or a bus for these trips. Most interestingly I didn't drive myself at all, and I notice we haven't rented a zipcar for about a month.

11.0 miles Walking (9 trips)
3.3 miles on Bus (1 trip)
10.8 miles on MAX (4 trips)
0.5 miles on Streetcar (1 trip)
11.3 miles riding with a friend (2 trips)
0 miles Driving

36.9 miles Total Transportation

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