Coastside Survey Data Results

People from all over the world flock to San Mateo County’s Coastside for the awesome surf conditions and natural beauty, but Coastside residents are struggling to find a sustainable commute outside of the Coastside. There are several existing transportation programs along the Coastside but expanding transit options is difficult due to low population density and high rural area coverage. This unfortunate combination has left the community with few options regarding alternative transportation. The realistic option for most people is carpooling and vanpooling.

A part of Commute.org’s mission is to support the commuters and provide resources on alternative transportation options in San Mateo County, so addressing the transportation issues along the Coastside is a high priority. To get a better understanding of Coastside commuter opinions, Commute.org created a Coastside Commuter Transportation survey that residents were able to take from January to March. A total of 927 responses were collected, and the results provided valuable information about travel patterns, transportation choices, and interest in alternative modes.

The responses revealed that while there are many Coastside residents that commute to a myriad of locations around the Bay Area for work or school, there was also a large volume of respondents who were most concerned with transporting their children to and from school. Of the many Coastside Commuter destinations, San Francisco was a top location.

Most respondents drive alone (the 2019 U.S. Census found that 86% of Coastside residents drive alone compared to 66.5% for all of San Mateo County residents), but for varied reasons. Transit service does not meet the commute needs of 61% percent of respondents, and 35% reported that they receive no commute assistance from their employer or college. Despite the challenges, Coastside commuters are still interested in finding a more sustainable commute. While transit accessibility is a major issue, 34% of respondents are willing to try transit as an alternative. Only 4% of Coastside commuters carpool compared to the County’s rate of 8.5%, but 31% of respondents would be willing to try carpooling. Those who do not work on the Coastside report an average commute of 23 miles, while those who work or live on the Coastside report an average of nine miles.

Much of San Mateo County’s Coastside is made up of smaller towns and unincorporated areas, so the needs of the residents who travel out of the Coastside for work or school are often overlooked. The survey was created with the intention to capture as much data on Coastside commuters as possible, but respondents gave so much more valuable information that can be used by city officials and other community agencies along the Coastside.

Click here to scroll through the complete results.

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