10 May 2010, 7:52pm
Commuting Passenger rail Transit
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Comments Off on One in four commuters are part of this growing national trend

One in four commuters are part of this growing national trend

Brookings-chapter-on-commuting

One in four big-city commuters walk to work, ride bicycles, use transit or at least share car rides with other workers, a new study says. A good number even stay home to work.  

In other words, 24 percent of Americans¬†in the 100 largest metro areas¬†don’t drive solo to work, according to¬†“The State of Metropolitan America,” a report released this week by¬†the¬†Brookings Institution.

And though a whopping three-fourths¬†still drive¬†alone,¬†that¬†portion has been shrinking, says the report’s¬†12-page commuting chapter.

From 2000 to 2008:

TRANSIT RIDERSHIP:¬†went up for the first time in 40 years,¬†reaching¬†5 percent in 2008,¬†though¬†that’s still shy of¬†5.1 percent¬†from 1990.

DRIVING SOLO:¬†slid down slightly,¬†mostly in¬†2007 to 2008, the first year of the Great Recession and a time of shockingly¬†high gas prices. Austin led the nation’s biggest cities with a 3.6 percent drop.

CARPOOLING: dropped to 11 percent, less than the 12 percent from 1970.

TWO-WHEELING: by bicycle and motorcycle rose slightly, to 1.7 percent.

WALKING: declined to 2.8 percent, down from 7.4 percent in 1970. 

TELECOMMUTING: jumped to 4.1 percent.

The report breaks down the trends by demographics and geography and mentions some other notable Texas numbers: 

El Paso is third in the U.S. for a 3.2 percent increase in solo driving and second for a 5.2 percent decrease in carpooling; McAllen ranks in the top five for both the percentage of commuters who carpool and those who quit carpooling; and Houston is fifth for loss of transit share.

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