Driving Alone To Work

2009 October 29
by Grace Boyle

Thankfully, I walk to work because I live less than five blocks away from my office. However, when I lived further away in my first house in Boulder I drove alone to work.

Turns out, I’m not the only one.

More than 100 million Americans drive to work alone.

driving-alone

Recent Census data shows that in 2008 75.5% of workers drove to their jobs alone. The states who carpooled the least are Alabama, Tennessee and Ohio where about 83% of workers drove alone. Cities where public transportation is widespread – had the lowest rate of lone drivers; New York (53.7%) and D.C. (37.2%).

Do you drive alone? Is there anyway to carpool or take public transportation?

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  • http://alligerkman.com/ Alli

    On some national news channel they showed footage of Boulder to demonstrate how much snow it had gotten. Sure enough, during the short clip you could see a couple bikers. I think it's probably fair to say there were people in some parts of the country who saw that and fell out of their chairs.

    To be fair, though, Denver and Boulder (and their businesses) make alternative transport a little easier than some places do. I suspect this map would look similar if it was tracking access to alternative transportation (and dark blue was “very little access” while light blue indicated more access.).

    Myself, I usually bike, but I car share days like these. I live in a 2-person/1-car household so it's always car sharing.

  • http://jackieadkins.com Jackie Adkins

    First of all that's awesome that you can walk to work! I wish i was that close. For me I drive alone to work because I'm about a 10 minute drive and none of my coworkers really live on my way (we all live in different directions for the most part). We also all get in at different times many days.

    I really think it just comes down to driving alone is easier and we're all looking for the easiest ways to do things as possible (Go America!)

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Alli Ha, you're so right about the Boulder/Denver public transport and healthy way of life. I LOVE public transportation. I've seen it done well in many cities. I know it's not realistic to live close enough to walk to work but you're a great example, Alli, of biking and car sharing. Thanks for sharing :)

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Jackie I know, I do feel grateful. Boulder is very much a walking/biking friendly city, plus I live close to downtown and happen to work downtown.

    You're right. Ten minutes isn't far and there's no one along the way. Have you ever thought about biking when the weather is nice? Or is that not possible? It's just interesting to see how much people drive alone (Go America!) ;)

  • http://grantgrigorian.com Grant

    I am so jealous of you being able to walk to work. I've never been able to do that. I live by City Park in Denver, and work in Boulder – so if I take the bus it literally takes me 2 hours one way.

    I drive to work alone…

    I gotta find a job downtown Denver, or else move to Boulder!

  • http://jackieadkins.com Jackie Adkins

    Biking would be a pretty good hike. I'd get a pretty good sweat going by the time I got there. Once again, go America! Haha.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Grant It is nice and I am grateful for my job and housing location.

    Sometimes there are sacrifices to be made and I know how long that bus takes. I know some people who always take the bus (want to save money or company gives them an eco pass) but I would probably drive alone…maybe mix in a day or two of bus then driving the other?

    PS. One of my best friends lives by City Park (right across from it on 18th) :)

  • http://grantgrigorian.com Grant

    @Grace I do mix it up and ride the bus a few times a month – gives me a chance to read too.

    I try to be good and even rode my bike to work once – left home at 6am, and got to work at 10am!

    I probably run into your friend all the time. I'm at the park playing with my yellow lab everyday. Here is a picture from when she was a pup: http://bit.ly/3VnAs7

  • http://simonandcole.com/ Simon

    I do a phat mash up of riding my bike, taking the bus, and driving. It's a tremendous pain in the ass and a waste of time to take the bus or ride…..and I somehow still find myself doing both three times a week. I survive, so it's worth it. Or is it?

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Simon Which do you enjoy most? Which saves you the most money? Which is the most time efficient? Which is healthiest for you and our pretty, pretty Earth? ;) Mash all those up, then come up with the average of the three. Yeah?

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Grant It is nice and I am grateful for my job and housing location.

    Sometimes there are sacrifices to be made and I know how long that bus takes. I know some people who always take the bus (want to save money or company gives them an eco pass) but I would probably drive alone…maybe mix in a day or two of bus then driving the other?

    PS. One of my best friends lives by City Park (right across from it on 18th) :)

  • http://grantgrigorian.com Grant

    @Grace I do mix it up and ride the bus a few times a month – gives me a chance to read too.

    I try to be good and even rode my bike to work once – left home at 6am, and got to work at 10am!

    I probably run into your friend all the time. I'm at the park playing with my yellow lab everyday. Here is a picture from when she was a pup: http://bit.ly/3VnAs7

  • http://simonandcole.com/ Simon

    I do a phat mash up of riding my bike, taking the bus, and driving. It's a tremendous pain in the ass and a waste of time to take the bus or ride…..and I somehow still find myself doing both three times a week. I survive, so it's worth it. Or is it?

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Simon Which do you enjoy most? Which saves you the most money? Which is the most time efficient? Which is healthiest for you and our pretty, pretty Earth? ;) Mash all those up, then come up with the average of the three. Yeah?

  • http://www.journeyofmyown.com Clayton

    I studied architecture and urban planning and wrote my thesis on suburbanization.  I used to live in Phoenix, AZ and I’m surprised they don’t rank higher.

    But what really makes me sad is that the lowest tier tracked on this map is 0-75%.  75% is still a lot of people who drive alone to work and I personally think that this is extremely high for the first benchmark.

  • http://www.journeyofmyown.com Clayton

    I studied architecture and urban planning and wrote my thesis on suburbanization.  I used to live in Phoenix, AZ and I’m surprised they don’t rank higher.

    But what really makes me sad is that the lowest tier tracked on this map is 0-75%.  75% is still a lot of people who drive alone to work and I personally think that this is extremely high for the first benchmark.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.com Grace Boyle

    Very interesting, Clayton!

    Yes, that 75% is very high. I just thought the idea and notion of this shows a problem too…as in, what are the solutions?