Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Oct 7th 2009 at 4:28pm UTC

Driving Alone

This map is cool (via Catherine Rampell at Economix and based on Census data).

Yikes: More than 100 million American workers drive to work alone. Rampell, one of my fave economics bloggers, explains:

About three-quarters of American workers drove to their jobs alone in 2008. The least carpool-friendly states appeared to be Alabama, Tennessee and Ohio, where about 83 percent of workers drove alone. The District of Columbia and New York — whose residents are heavily dependent on public transportation — had the lowest rates of solo commuters, at 37.2 percent and 53.7 percent.

Anybody have the stats for Toronto?

6 Responses to “Driving Alone”

  1. Richard C Says:

    >Anybody have the stats for Toronto?

    Just looking at the DVP northbound in the evening rushhour I would estimate 101% ;)

    Joking aside, public transport is well serviced in Toronto – those out-of-the city-proper commuters likely skew the numbers up.

  2. Aaron M. Renn Says:

    This is yet another deceptive graphic. The bands for the three color shadings are extremely narrow – only a 5% range from top to bottom.

  3. Michael Wells Says:

    Once again, looking at the state data is incomplete. For example, Oregon is about half rural and half urban/suburban. The numbers between Portland with decent transit and lots of bicyclists, and Eastern Oregon with longer distances and only cars, would be a better comparison than Oregon vs other states. For that matter, the city itself vs the outer suburbs would have more variance.

    As Aaron implies, there’s not much difference between states except for New York (dominated by NYC), DC (itself a city) and outliers Alaska and Hawaii. Everyone else is about +/- 5% of the national 75.5% mean.

  4. Senning Luk Says:

    I think the Transportation Tomorrow Survey has that datum for Toronto. I closest I could get in the publicly available report are 2006 mode breakdowns – during the morning commute to Toronto destinations, 48% drive, 11% are passengers in cars, 25% take the TTC, 5% take GO (intercity transit, for those outside southern Ontario), and 9% walk or cycle.

    Cars take a bigger share outside the commute (taking the whole day, 53% drive and 14% are passengers).

    See for the summaries, and for the bizarrely silo-ed data. U of T faculty might have better resources.

  5. Wendy Says:

    Agree with Michael in that it might be more telling to focus on urban areas where non-single-occupant-driving is an option.

    I’ll get you a Toronto stat.

  6. Wendy Says:

    Toronto. In a recent Harris-Decima survey I commissioned, 50% of _apartment dwellers_ in the GTA used private automobile (don’t have whether single occupant or not), while 45% took transit, 4% walked, and 1% used a bicycle.

    Also Toronto (CMA), from the 2006 Census: of the population over the age of 15, with a usual place of work, 64% commute to work as a driver of a private car; 7% are a passenger; 22% take transit and 5% walk.