Report suggest progress toward 2030 goals; COVID-19 continues to impact Boulder travel

The City of Boulder has published the 2024 Modal Shift Report, which summarizes the 2023 Resident Travel Diary Survey results. The survey, conducted since 1990, provides Boulder resident travel behavior data and is a companion to the city’s employee travel survey. The findings suggest that the city is progressing in key measures, but not at the pace needed to meet the city’s transportation goals by 2030.

  • Single-occupant vehicle (SOV) travel for all trips by Boulder residents continues to decline. 35% of all trips by residents are in an SOV. While SOV has declined significantly since 1990, the city is not on track to meet its 2030 goal of 20%.
  • Transit system ridership is recovering but has not rebounded to pre-COVID levels. Transit service cuts have not been fully restored, fewer employers opt to provide EcoPass transit passes to employees, and increased teleworking remain factors impacting ridership.
  • Teleworking by Boulder residents almost doubled. On the day of the travel diary survey, 1 in 4 residents reported working from home, almost double from the last survey in 2018.
  • Daily Per Capita Vehicle Miles of Travel (VMT), the total number of miles the average Boulder resident travels in a motor vehicle, remained steady. VMT per day has declined 20% since 1990.
  • 18% of Boulder resident trips are on bikes or scooters, with 4% of these trips on an e-bike or e-scooter. With the growth in public and private e-bike and e-scooter use, the city has begun surveying their impact on travel choices.
  • Home deliveries are replacing vehicle trips, reducing overall VMT. 20% of residents received a delivery on the day of their travel diary with 38% reporting that the delivery replaced a vehicle trip.

Boulder uses survey findings to track progress toward key city transportation goals, inform policy analysis and improve planning efforts, programs and services. 2023 findings support ongoing efforts to reduce SOV travel, continue partnerships to restore transit service and expand micromobility access — ways to get around locally with smaller-scale travel like bikes and scooters. View the full survey report on the city’s website.