The Active Transportation Alliance is Chicagoland’s voice for better walking, biking and transit. With an aim to create healthy, sustainable and equitable communities, our goal for 2025 is to see 50 percent of all trips in the region made by people walking, biking or using public transit. To track progress by mode, Active Trans compiles and analyzes publicly available mode share and travel data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) and US Decennial Census. The census provides local commute data by mode on an annual basis; however, the survey data is limited since it does not capture pedestrian, bicycle or transit trips made for non-work purposes such as shopping or recreation.
This report also analyzes transportation data from our regional planning organization Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) as well as congestion data from Texas A&M University’s Urban Mobility Report. Overall Trends The Chicagoland region has seen a substantial decrease in walking, biking and transit work trips since 1980 when nearly a quarter of residents used one of these modes to get to work. Regionally, as walking, biking and transit trips have declined, driving commute trips have increased as have the percentage of people working from home. While disappointing, over the last decade the downward trend of people walking, biking and taking transit to work has reversed and is again climbing, growing from 15.4 percent in 2006 to 17.1 percent in 2016 (Figure 1). This recent growth was mostly driven by an increase in walking, biking and transit in the City of Chicago (Figure 2).