Last year, about 76% of workers 16 years and older drove to work alone—just shy of the all-time peak of 77% in 2005, according to data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. Driving alone dipped slightly during the recession, but it has been ticking back up as the economy revives.It's the people's choice.
Meanwhile, just about every other way of getting to work has either languished or declined. Carpooling has tanked—falling from about 20% in 1980, when gasoline prices were soaring from the oil shock of the late 1970s, to under 10% in 2012. Public transportation accounted for just over 6% of daily commutes in 1980 and is now 5%. A category the Census calls "other means"—which includes biking—stands at 2%, largely unchanged over the past decade.
These commuting trends come despite efforts to get people to use public transportation or other alternatives. And a variety of forces are coming together to ensure that Americans continue to seek out lonely commutes—and the numbers could grow.We are tempted to ask the public transit Nazi's to, 'Give in, give in. It's irresistible you fools.' But when have the true believers ever admitted defeat?
Thanks to Peter Gordon for noticing this first.