How people get to work

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

People who live in the U.S. use different modes of transport to get to work. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 86 percent of people used automobiles, 5 percent used public transport and 0.1 percent used taxicabs in 2012. Less than 1 percent of Americans choose bicycles for transport. Some people (0.2 percent) used their motorcycles to get to work. About 3 percent of workers preferred to walk. We can be sure that most Americans prefer go to work using their automobiles. The development of transportation networks like roads, transit lines and others played an important role in the design of the communities.


According to the American Community Survey Report, automobiles were still the most popular way to get to the office in 2013. About 86 percent of Americans commuted to work by car, and 76.4 percent of them drove alone. Just 9 percent of workers carpooled, with Hispanic workers showing the highest rate of carpooling. The share of Hispanics who drove alone was 70 percent, while 15 percent carpooled. Also, 67 percent of Asians drove alone, and 13 percent carpooled. More than 70 percent of Black workers drove alone (9 percent carpooled). If we analyze the statistics of White workers, 80 percent of them drove alone and 8 percent carpooled.


Among foreign-born residents, 65 percent drove alone and 14 percent carpooled, compared to 79 percent of native-born who drove alone (8 percent of them carpooled). Among foreign-born workers who lived in principalities (in metro areas), 58.6 percent drove alone and 13.6 percent carpooled. Among foreign-born people who have lived in the U.S. up to three years, about 42 percent drove alone and about 16 percent carpooled. Among the people who had lived in the U.S. from four to six years, about 50 percent drove alone, while 15.3 percent carpooled. About 53 percent of people who had lived in the U.S. from seven to nine years drove alone and 16.5 percent carpooled.

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Among workers from 16 to 24 years old, 71 percent used automobiles. For people from 25 to 29 years old, 74.8 percent used cars. The number grows with the age of the people: for workers from 30 to 34 it was 75.6 percent, and was77 percent for people from 35 to 44. About 79 percent of people from 45 to 54 years old used automobiles. For people aged 55 and over the number was almost the same.

It’s also quite interesting to analyze how the area of living affects the way that people get to the office. According to the survey, about 78 percent of people who lived in principal cities (in metro areas) used automobiles, while 21.7 percent used another mode. Among people living outside of principal cities, 89.2 percent used their automobiles and about 11 percent used another mode. Among workers who lived outside any metro area, 90.5 percent used automobiles while 9.5 percent used another mode.


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About Pavel Prikhodko

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Pavel has worked for many years as a researcher and developer on a wide range of applications (varying from mechanics and manufacturing to social data, finance and advertising), building predictive systems and trying to find stories that data can tell.

In his free time, he enjoys being with his family.

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