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How Do Americans Go To Work?
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How Do Americans Go To Work?

There are over a hundred million people in America that commute on a daily basis. Most common commutes include suburb to suburb and suburb to city travelling, with about 30% of Americans commuting 10 miles both ways. People commute in various ways, but the vast majority drive alone, followed by commuters who use the carpool lane, and those who use the public transportation system, ride bikes or walk to work. States that have some of the worst commutes in the U.S. include New York, with a 30-minute average commute, Illinois with a 27-minute commute, and California with a 26-minute commute.

According to the 2010 Census American Community Survey, about 86 percent of all commuters drive to work, while 76% of those drive alone, which is obviously a major factor in traffic congestion, as well as air pollution. When it comes to driving alone to work, Alabama and Tennessee are leading the way with over 80 percent of commuters driving alone. While there has been a downward trend in driving to work, mostly due to rising gas prices, it's still the most common for commuting.

New York is the state where most commuters take public transportation. It's similar with other states where there are large metropolitan areas, such as Boston or Chicago, with well-organized public transportation systems. 27% of New York commuters take the bus, train or subway, while about 13% of commuters walk, which is among the highest percentages in the U.S. Talking about walking to work, Alaska citizens use this mode of transportation the most, where 14% of commuters prefer it over all the other available options.

Carpooling is a pretty convenient way to avoid traffic jams and get to work more quickly, while avoiding crowded buses or trains at the same time, but not a lot of people use it. However, with 12% of all U.S. commuters using the carpool lanes, it is the second most used commute mode. Hawaii and Alaska have the most carpoolers, amounting to 14% of commuters in those two states.

The least used mode of all is biking, with as little as 0.4% riding a bike to get to work. Oregon is the state where most people bike to work, due to the fact that the its largest city, Portland, has a well-developed biking network throughout the city with lots of designated biking lanes, but the number is still not too high, since only 5% of commuters do it.

So, while driving is still the go to mode when it comes to commuting, a lot of recent surveys show that more and more people, especially among the younger population, tend to use the alternative modes, such as biking or walking, as they get more aware about the environment and the negative effects cars have on it. The costs are another big reason for Americans to choose substitutes, with approximate $8,000 a year for commuting.


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