In which communities are commuters most inclined to get a carectomy and relish their progressive, car-free company? Boston has the highest number of commuters who walk to work (13 percent), while Portland has the highest number of those who cycle (3.5 percent—eight times the national average). San Francisco deserves kudos, too, as 6.3 percent of its employees work from home (compared to an average of 3.6 percent nation-wide). Most commuters, however, still drive to work.
The American Community survey, conducted in 2005 by the Census Bureau, found that nine out of 10 workers (87.7 percent) use their car to commute to work. Most car commuters, 77 percent, drive alone. A mere one in 10 workers car pool, and 75 percent of car-poolers commute with only one other person.
The number of U.S. commuters who use public transportation increased a pitiful .1 percent since 2000, up to 4.7 percent overall. With gas prices rising like a killer tsunami, however, I’m willing to bet that more commuters will be inclined to get out of their cars and take transit or their own two feet.
It’s hardly shocking that half of the commuters who used transit systems (2.9 million people of 6.2 million transit users) lived in the metro areas of major cities (the best include Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.); most transit systems in the suburbs and outside of metro areas are sorely lacking and unreliable, and thus don’t encourage frequent use.
Both Los Angeles and Houston were behind the curve of smaller cities, like Minneapolis and Seattle, where more commuters prefer public transit, cycling, or walking to cars.
Find more U.S Census data here .
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