U.S. PIRG has released a new report on commuting trends, “Transportation in Transition: A Look at Changing Travel Patterns in America’s Biggest Cities.” The report compares commuting data for most major U.S. cities and finds that:
- The proportion of workers commuting by private vehicle—either alone or in a carpool—declined in 99 out of 100 of America’s most populous urbanized areas between 2000 and 2007-2011;
- The average number of miles driven per resident fell in almost three-quarters of America’s largest urbanized areas for which up-to-date data was available;
- The proportion of households without cars increased in 84 out of the 100 largest urbanized areas, and the proportion of households with two cars or more cars decreased in 86 out of the 100 of these areas;
- The proportion of residents bicycling to work increased in 85 out of 100 of America’s largest urbanized areas; and
- The number of passenger-miles traveled per capita on transit increased in 60 out of 98 of America’s large urbanized areas.
These trends generally held true for metro Atlanta, except with regard to per capita VMT.
Whereas three-quarters of the metro areas saw a decline in VMT, metro Atlanta’s increased by 2%. This place the region 60th in the country in terms of VMT reduction (or lack thereof).
With regard to the other metrics (transit use, reductions in car commuting, increase in bike commuting, percentage telecommuting) metro Atlanta followed the national trends but its improvements were generally more modest than those seen elsewhere. The one area where the region excelled is in telecommuting: the region saw the 7th largest increase in the proportion of workers working from home of any region in the country.