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Bruce Schaller

Where Do Manhattan Auto Commuters Come From?

10:00 AM EST on December 8, 2006

Bruce Schaller's studies continue to give New York City policymakers a much more detailed idea of who commutes into Manhattan's Central Business District each day, where they came from and what they are doing once they get there (PDF file). 

Towards that end, his new Manhattan Institute study, Battling Traffic: What New Yorkers Think About Road Pricing, offers the two maps below. The maps show the number of auto commuters and the percentage of auto commuters who drive into Manhattan's Central Business District from specific census tracts.  

So, for example, check out the Upper East Side. It is responsible for 5,000+ auto commuters into the Manhattan CBD each day, yet the vast majority of those car commuters' neighbors -- 85 percent or more -- find a way to get to work without a car. In other words, the Upper East Side may be a place that is ripe for mode shift. It could be a place where one would expect to find a significant number of commuters who could be moved out of cars and onto transit, bike, ferry or foot if the proper services and incentives were offered (Though, with all of those wealthy people and black limos on the UES, the proper incentive might be helicopter service).   

Number Who Commute by Auto to the Central Business District nyc_auto_commuter_numb.jpg

Percent Who Commute by Auto to the Central Business Districtnyc_auto_commuter_pct.jpg

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