10 May 2010, 7:52pm
Commuting Passenger rail Transit

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


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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