Thursday, June 14, 2007

Commuting across the nation

The Census has a press release out with a summary of the most current information on commuting in the nation. Worth a look given the cuts that are about to take place down at the Port Authority. What is unfortunate is that the tables produced by the census do not include the City of Pittsburgh because it is so small these days. Looking at their list of top cities for commuting, where would Pittsburgh be on that list? Using the same dataset, the City of Pittsburgh has 18.9% of resident commuters using public transit in 2005. That would place the city at #7 in terms of cities with the highest percentage of public transit usage by commuters. It is probably worth noting that data on commuters only include people traveling to work by definition. The city has a high proportion of elderly and students who big users of public transit as well. If there was a measure out there that looked at overall transit usage (not just commuting to work) the City of Pittsburgh could conceivably rank even higher on such a list. That would be pretty amazing given that most of the cities ranked higher than Pittsburgh now have much larger subway/rail/light rail systems in place.

Also a curious factoid. The census also ranks cities (again not including Pittsburgh) in terms of the percentage of workers who walk to work. The City of Pittsburgh comes in at 9.2% of resident workers who walk to work. A percentage that would place it #5 in their ranking of cities, just below New York City (9.4%) and ahead of Philadelphia (8.9%) and even Honolulu (6.9%).


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