Dmitriy T.M. sent in a Census Bureau report on transportation and commuting, providing a detailed picture of how we’re getting to work. Despite constant discussions about reducing car use and encouraging mass transportation, the vast majority of people in the U.S. get to work in a car:
Not surprisingly, there are significant differences by race and ethnicity. Non-Hispanic Whites are the most likely to drive to work alone in their own car (83.5%), while only 3.2% use public transportation. Latinos are the most likely to carpool with at least one other person (16.4%) and African Americans are most likely to use public transportation (11.5%):
These differences likely reflect a variety of factors, include social class and differences in racial/ethnic concentrations in urban vs. rural areas and in different regions of the U.S., which affects how likely a worker is to have access to reliable, efficient public transportation or to realistically be able to walk to work. In fact, there were only five metro areas where at least 10% of workers use public transportation to get to work: the regions surrounding NYC, San Francisco/Oakland, Washington D.C., Boston, and Chicago.
And as anyone who has taken part in a morning commute recently won’t be shocked to hear, leaving for work is still highly concentrated in the 5 to 8:59 a.m. period for most occupations, though departure times reflect the wider range of normal working hours in the service industry compared to other economic sectors (note that the colors do not all represent equal amounts of time):
More on mode of transportation and commuting times by region and race/ethnicity in the full report.