Actually, according to a new analysis by the U.S. Census Bureau, you probably are.
That’s right, despite rising fuel costs, commuters continued to drive their cars to work in 2005, according to the analysis of data from the American Community Survey. The survey, gathered over the course of the year, found that driving to work was the favored means of commuting of nearly nine out of 10 workers (87.7%). Most – 77% – drove to work alone.
Approximately one in 10 of us (10.7%) car pools to work, though about three-quarters of car poolers ride with just one other person.
Not that public transportation didn’t enjoy a boost over 2000 levels – albeit an infinitesimally small 0.1% to just 4.7% of all commuters. And about half of those public transportation commuters can be found in 10 of the nation’s 50 cities (the ones with the most workers age 16 or over): Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. These cities account for 2.9 million of the nation’s 6.2 million users of public transportation.
While those cities had relatively high rates of public transportation usage, Los Angeles and Houston, with rates of 10.3% and 5.1%, respectively, had lower rates than many other smaller cities, including Minneapolis (12.5%), Oakland, California (16.5%), Portland, Oregon (13.3%), and Seattle (a whopping 17%).
By the way, Portland, Oregon, has the distinction among these large cities as having the highest percentage of bicycle commuters – approximately 3.5% of Portland’s workers pedal to work, about eight times the national average (0.4%).
Another popular option was no commute at all, since approximately 3.6% of us worked from home in 2005. Large cities with high rates of home-based workers included Austin, Texas (5%), Colorado Springs, Colorado (4.9%), Portland, Oregon (5.3%), San Francisco (6.3%), and Seattle (5.1%).
As for short commutes, Boston had the highest percentage among large cities of employees who walk to work (13%), but nationally, 2.5% of us walked to work.