How Does West Piedmont Get to Work?

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How Does West Piedmont Get to Work?

Each locality is home to individuals who travel to work, and each person has his or her own way of commuting to their place of employment.  The West Piedmont Planning District (WPPD) is very similar to the State as well as to the U.S. with regard to the modes of transportation residents utilize to get to work, but with some differences.

According to the graph below, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 – 2016 American Community Survey (ACS), 83.3% of residents of the WPPD drove alone.  This contrasts with 77.4% for Virginia and 76.4% for the U.S.  What is surprising is that the percentage of workers who carpooled to work was higher in the WPPD than at the state and national levels.  The reason for this is likely two-fold.  First, the region is generally rural in most places, lending itself to a very auto-oriented transportation system.  Second, due to the economic restructuring in the region over the past several decades, numerous residents do not have access to reliable transportation.  The graph also shows that the share of transit use is significantly lower in the region that at the state and national level.  This is likely the case because transit systems are very limited in scope within the region, due to its rural character.  With regard to workers who walked to work; used taxi, motorcycle, bicycle, or other means; or worked at home, the figures were also somewhat lower in the region that for the state or the U.S.

An analysis using the U.S. Census Bureau’s OnTheMap website was also conducted to determine the destinations of workers residing in the West Piedmont Planning District, utilizing the latest (2015) data.  Of those workers residing in the West Piedmont Planning District, the top fifteen destination counties and cities were:

  1. City of Danville (19.7%)
  2. Henry County (12.1%)
  3. Franklin County (10.5%)
  4. Pittsylvania County (9.5%)
  5. City of Martinsville (7.1%)
  6. City of Roanoke (6.2%)
  7. Patrick County (3.8%)
  8. Roanoke County (2.7%)
  9. Rockingham County, NC (2.2%)
  10. Campbell County (2.0%)
  11. City of Lynchburg (1.8%)
  12. City of Salem (1.7%)
  13. Guilford County, NC (1.3%)
  14. Montgomery County (1.2%)
  15. Halifax County (1.1%)

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