Alternative Transportation Facts

Here are some commuting, carpooling, bicycling, and walking facts to consider:
  • Carpooling, using transit, walking, or bicycling-just one day a week for a year can save the typical commuter about 1,200 miles on their vehicle and about $455 in total driving costs.
  • Between 1980 and 2001, the U.S. population grew by 26%; however, the number of miles people drove increased by 82%.
  • 91% of Americans commute to work using personal vehicles; only 5% regularly use transit.
  • Because commuting has declined as a share of all vehicle trips-from nearly 33% in 1969 to less than 15 % in 2001-it is important to look beyond just your commuting trips.
  • You can reduce more air pollution if you walk or bicycle for short trips, compared to a long commute, because emissions are highest when a vehicle is started "cold." For instance, eliminating 5 separate one-mile vehicle trips reduces the same amount of ozone-related pollution as eliminating one 15-mile trip.
  • 87% of daily trips occur in personal vehicles (of those about 38% are with a driver only and 49% are with more than one occupant). Almost 9% of trips are walking trips, about 2% are by transit, and almost 2% are by school bus.
  • The average American household uses almost 3 gallons of motor fuel per day-enough to fill 21 standard bathtubs a year.
  • In communities that use a combination of traffic congestion remedies-public transportation, bus and carpool lanes, traffic signal coordination, clearing crashes, and disabled vehicles, and using signals that regulate traffic flow onto their freeways-annual congestion delay is reduced from 53 to 46 hours per person traveling in peak periods. That's like getting almost one whole work day to do something fun, instead of sitting in traffic!