Carpooling Is Totally Coming Back This Time, We Swear - CityLab

September 21, 2017

 

New Census numbers suggest shared rides are on the rise in major U.S. cities.

 

In so many ways, the 1970s are making a comeback. Wide-leg jeans! Off-shoulder tops!

 

Here’s a tentative addition to that list: carpooling. New Census data released on Thursday shows upticks in the proportion of workers who report they’re sharing a ride to the office, across a number of major U.S. cities.

 

The American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates come with fairly wide margins of error, so take the local data with a grain of salt. Still, the national trend is that a smaller share of Americans are driving alone. So, where’d they go? Given continued declines in transit ridership, it doesn’t seem that they’re riding the bus. And they’re not on their bikes: In a handful of cities, the share of bicycle commuters is surging, but national numbers show a small overall dip. Carpooling, on the other hand, appears to have ticked up as mode share for the first time in years.

 

In the environmentally-conscious OPEC years of the 1970s, one in five American workers hitched rides to work with colleagues. By 2015, that figure had dropped to one in 10. Carpooling’s sharp decline has been called “the most significant change in commuting behavior in the past few decades.” It’s true that we’ve previously promised a carpool comeback. But the new local and regional Census data suggests things are finally looking up for Dagwood Bumstead’s mode of choice.

 

Behold the trend for the 11 largest metropolitan statistical areas since 2013; the average is shown in the thick lime-green line:

 

Click here to read the full article: https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2017/09/is-carpooling-making-a-comeback/539979/

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