Means of Transportation changes
by Reschovsky, Clara (OST)
As some of you may remember, or not since it has been a while, the Census Bureau is changing the Means of Transportation question categories for public transit options in 2019. This change is the result of a content test conducted in 2016 by the Census Bureau. Here is the current question as it appears on the form and the new version which will be implemented in January 2019.
So now that you see that change can happen even if it takes a long time, we have a new opportunity!
Currently the Census Bureau is planning another Content Test for the American Community Survey. US DOT has the opportunity to propose a new change to the journey-to-work questions. At this point, we are thinking of proposing the addition of ride-hailing services to the Taxicab category in the Means of Transportation question. The initially proposed change is from 'Taxicab' to 'Taxi or ride-hailing services'.
The Content Test will be conducted in 2021 and any changes that are deemed successful will be implemented in 2024. At this point, it is hard to know how technology will change in the next six years and how that will affect the ACS data, but this is a known emerging mode. However, we need to act now to have any changes considered.
I am interested in hearing your input and hopefully support on this proposed change, but I must caution you on a few details. We cannot add a specific company name (such as Uber and Lyft) to the options. We also have very limited space available on the form, however, in consultation with the form design experts at the Census Bureau we can change Taxicab to be a two line choice like 'Long-distance train or commuter rail' on the 2019 form. I know that some of you would really like to see ride-hailing as a separate option and that is unlikely to be successful because of space of the form. If you have any thoughts on this topic, please let me know by July 31st, and for everybody, look forward to the new data detail on Means of Transportation from Census!
Office of Survey Programs
Bureau of Transportation Statistics
US Department of Transporation