Thu June 14 2007
Posted Jun 14, 2007
A Census Bureau survey reveals that over three quarters of Americans drove to work by themselves.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- An overwhelming majority of Americans skip the bus or forgo carpooling, choosing instead to drive to work alone, according to a government study published Wednesday.
Even in a time of sky-high gas prices, nearly 9 out of 10 workers commuted to work by car in 2005, the Census Bureau revealed in its "American Community Survey".
And 77 percent of those workers drove alone, according to the study.
Conversely, only 4.7 percent of workers used public transportation to get to work, the survey found, with half of those workers found in the nation's largest cities like Boston, San Francisco, New York, Houston and Seattle.
The results of the survey come as gas prices are hovering near record highs. Even though pump prices have eased in recent weeks to a nationwide average of $3.08 a gallon, they are still up sharply from when they were in 2005.
At that time, the price for that same gallon of gasoline was just $2.10 a gallon, according to the government's Energy Information Administration.
"With each succeeding year, we'll be able to see how people respond to changing circumstances, such as rising gas prices," Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon said.
Our commuting habits
The Census Bureau study also revealed other interesting trends in Americans' commuting habits.
Just 1 in 10 commuters carpooled to work, usually driving with just one other person in the car, according to the study.
Portland, Ore., had the highest number of commuters who bicycled to work, with 3.5 percent of its workforce pedaling to work.
As a nation, just 0.4 percent of the American workforce rode their bike to work in 2005.
And in Boston, about 13 percent of its commuters walked to work. Nationwide, just 2.5 percent of workers walked to their office.
Working from home was the third most popular option among Americans, the survey found, with 3.6 percent of the American workforce doing their job from where they lived.
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