Despite rising fuel costs, commuters continued to drive their cars in 2005, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau 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 commute of nearly nine out of 10 workers (87.7 percent), with most people (77 percent) driving alone.
In contrast, 4.7 percent of commuters used public transportation to travel to work in 2005, an increase of about 0.1 percent over 2000 levels.
About half of the nation’s public transportation commuters can be found in 10 of the nation’s 50 cities 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 (see detailed tables).
Beyond the total number of public transportation users, these cities also had relatively high rates of public transportation use. However, Los Angeles and Houston, with rates of 10.3 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively, had lower rates than many other smaller cities, including Minneapolis (12.5 percent); Oakland, Calif. (16.5 percent); Portland, Ore. (13.3 percent) and Seattle (17 percent).
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