Data show American commuting is changing, but probably not for the better | Quartz

Dan Kopf at Quartz wrote: Data show American commuting is changing, but probably not for the better. I got quoted:

The effects of suburbanization show up in the data in several ways, including the decrease in bus riders and the spike in subway and rail commuters. Buses are typically used for shorter commutes, while subways and trains are often better options for people who are farther from the city center. Transportation professor David Levinson told Quartz that the use of the bus may also be falling due to the strong economy. More people use cheaper forms of public transport during recessions, but are more likely to drive when they are feeling flush with cash. In addition, Levinson notes that a number of US cities have introduced light rail this decade that are intended to replace buses. This caused a spike in train use.


One other important change to commuting in the US is that fewer people are doing it. The share of people who reported working from home went up from 4.5% in 2010 to 5.6% in 2018; it was only 3.3% in 2000.


Related points:

  1.  2010 was in the recession, 2018 is nearer a peak. During recession, more people switch from car to public transit, walking, biking. As incomes become more reliable in expansion, people switch back to the car. (This applies to work and non-work trips, your table is work only, but work trips are less than 1/4 of all travel).
  2. There has been a cut back in bus service in recent years.
  3. Taxi’s increase is obviously related to the flood of discounted (venture capital subsidized) rides associated with Uber.
  4. There have been added LRT facilities (and some heavy rail) that replaced bus service.
    Wikipedia lists systems by year opened, but also by year last expanded. Many have been opened or expanded since 2010. Many of those riders previously took bus (some are new to transit entirely of course).