More and more American commuters are sharing lifts as they adjust to economic hardship, according to the latest figures from the US Census Bureau. New York, a popular destination for relocating individuals, experienced one of the greatest leaps in public and shared transport use.
As reported by Re:locate magazine, a combination of inflation and political maneuvering has pushed up the price of petroleum in recent weeks. While removals companies have the resources to manage periodic cost increases, individual consumers and commuters struggle.
It appears that increased fuel costs and a more general process of belt-tightening have driven many American commuters to forgo solo trips in favour of shared or public transport.
The Census data show that during 2010 to 2011 the number of commuters driving solo dropped slightly while public transportation use rose, particularly in metropolitan areas.
Over a third of the 342 metropolitan areas surveyed experienced a jump in group commuting – which includes cars and vans as well as buses and subways – with New York leading the way with a two point percentage increase.
The census figures reflect those released earlier this week by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). The APTA reported the sixth consecutive quarterly increase in ridership -- up 1.6% in the second quarter. Of the various forms of transport ,rail experienced the largest jump in usage.
As noted there are a number of reasons behind this development besides increasing fuel costs.
USA todays points to a survey that shows how interest in helping the environment has risen 35% since 2003. In addition to environmental concerns, other motivating factors include generational change and health fears. Many employees find sharing lifts takes away the stress of the daily drive to work.