Most U.S. Workers Drive to Work Alone: Study


Most commuters still drive to work alone according to a new study. 

The study found that driving is still the most common means of commuting and most people drive alone, with 76.4 percent of U.S. workers doing so. In Louisville, Kentucky, about 82.9 percent of those surveyed drive to work alone, while in New York City, 21.4 percent do the same. On the flip side, just 9.4 percent of U.S. workers carpool.

Researcher Michael Sivak at The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute used data from the American Community Survey and analyzed the 30 largest U.S. cities to discover interesting commuting habits for workers ages 16 and older. Cities examined in the study include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix and San Antonio, with the combined population of the 30 cities in 2013 representing 12.5 percent (39,410,377) of the entire population of the U.S.

Sivak found that 4.5 percent of working Americans have no vehicle, with an overwhelming 46 percent of working New Yorkers living lives without a car payment. In contrast, only 1.8 percent of workers in Fort Worth, Texas have no vehicle. Carpooling is most popular in Memphis, with 12.4 percent of its workers sharing their vehicle to get to work. Houston was second with 12.2 percent while Las Vegas and Phoenix were tied at 12 percent.

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Not surprisingly, only 4.9 percent of New York workers carpool with Washington, D.C. not far behind at 5.3 percent. As for public transportation, 56.7 percent of working New Yorkers use the subway, taxi or other methods to get to work. Washington, D.C. also was popular with public transportation at 38.5 percent, with Boston not far behind at 33 percent.

The study also revealed that 2.8 percent of Americans walk to work each day, with that method of transportation serving most popular in Boston at 14.5 percent. Only 1.2 percent of workers in Fort Worth used their legs each day. Even less Americans use a bicycle to commute to work, with only 0.6 percent reportedly choosing it as their preferred method of transportation. Bicycles were most popular in Portland with 5.9 percent while El Paso represented a meager 0.1 percent.

For all U.S. workers, the mean travel time to work was 25.8 minutes with the longest in New York at 39.7 minutes and the shortest in Oklahoma at 20.7 minutes.

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