William L. Ball

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Journey to Work, Commuting, Public Transportation, Ridesharing, Working at Home, American Housing Survey


Chang ing demographic and travel behavior characteristics have resutted in significant challenges for transportation decisio nmakers, planners , and practitioners throughout the U.S . Efforts to meet these challenges have had varying degrees of s uccess and/or failure and, as we look to the future, It appears that dealing with existing and evolving transportation needs will only become more difficult. Commuting in the U. S. has evolved substantially over the past several decades, from the more traditional commute with a majority of destinations in the central busine ss district to new travel patterns where commuting from suburb to suburb has grown to be the dominant commuting pattern. This report was prepared to assist in developing a thorough understanding of recent trends in commuting alternativ es in the U.S. Using data from the Census. American Housing Survey (AHS), and the Nationwid e Personal Transportation Study (NPTS) , general trends In commuting are presented. including those related to mode choice, vehicle occupancy. departure time, travel time, and travel distance. This is followed by a discussion of commuting alternatives. including pubfoc transportation. ridesharing, and working at home. Recent trends in the use of each commuting alternative are presented, including the commute share for a series of commuter subg roups characterized by a variety of geographic. demographic, and housing characteristics. A discussion of the future outlook for each of the commuting attematives also Is presen ted and includes some basic recommendations as to what can be done to mai ntain, and perhaps increase. the commute mode share of each of the commuting alternatives .

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Commuting Alternatives in the United States: Recent Trends and a Look to the Future, Center for Urban Transportation Research, University of South Florida, 115 p.