Formed nearly 60 years ago, the Downtown Denver Partnership (DDP) plans, develops, and manages Downtown Denver, helping keep the area clean, safe, green, and economically and culturally vibrant. Among its many activities, the DDP conducts an annual commuter survey of the downtown area’s employee population. The survey measures and analyzes commuting habits, trends, and patterns.
In 2013, the DDP received nearly 4,500 valid commuter survey responses, which revealed some significant differences in the behavior of Downtown commuters versus their counterparts both in the greater Denver area and in other US cities. In general terms, Downtown commuters are only half as likely to drive to work as in the average American community, but by contrast are seven times more likely to bike and nine times more likely to take public transit. On the day they completed the survey, 46 percent of respondents used public transit to get to work (more than the US average), compared with only 38 percent who drove to work alone (less than the US average).
In addition to standard elements such as age, office location, and length of commute, one other factor was found to have a significant impact on employees’ commuting habits: employer-provided transportation benefits. According to survey responses, nearly 60 percent of Downtown commuters receive a transit pass, either fully or partially subsidized, from their employer, and rank that provision as their most highly valued employee benefit.