Ipsos poll: Transportation Needs in America

Most Americans drive their own vehicles every day, though very few use other modes of transportation daily

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Director, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC — According to a recent online survey conducted by Ipsos on transportation habits, three-quarters (75%) of Americans report using their own vehicle to get around daily — and this is especially true for younger adults (79% of those ages 18-34), the more affluent (79% of those earning more than $50,000 annually), those with children living at home (86%), and those with a college degree (80%). In fact, two in five Americans who own at least one vehicle say that there is nothing that would make them consider not owning a car/owning fewer cars (39%). Americans are much less likely to use other modes of transportation daily, with one in ten saying they walk every day (10%) to get places and another 5% opting to get around using public transportation. Other modes are used daily by fewer people.

Car sharing service (85%, such as car2go, ZipCar), shared shuttles (85%, such as Chariot, Via), shared rides (75%, such as Uber pool, Lyft Line) and bikes/scooters (73%) are least likely to be used by Americans to get around, with at least three quarters saying they never turn to these.

When asked why they travel via modes other than their own personal vehicle – necessity or preference – those who opt to walk (39%) or bicycle/scooter (37%) to get around are among the most likely to say they do this because they prefer it over using their personal car/vehicle. On the other hand, those who use rental cars (41%), ride-hailing apps (35%, such as Uber, Lyft), car sharing service (34%, such as car2go, ZipCar), taxi cabs/limo services (34%), or shared rides (32% such as Uber pool, Lyft Line) tend to be more likely to report using these because taking their personal car/vehicle isn't an option.

The study was conducted as part of a special feature at www.gen-pop.com/wtf about the Future of Mobility.

About the Study

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted February 16-20, 2018. For the survey, a sample of 1,005 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii were interviewed online in English.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’s online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online nonprobability sampling polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,005, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=5.0).

For more information about conducting research intended for public release or Ipsos’ online polling methodology, please visit our Public Opinion Polling and Communication page where you can download our brochure, see our public release protocol, or contact us.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Vice President, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025
[email protected]

Mallory Newall
Director, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2014
[email protected] 

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In Canada, the U.S., UK, and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.

With offices in 88 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,782.7 million in 2016.

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Director, US, Public Affairs