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In Time
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New Yorkers are top transit users
More than half ride subway or bus to work



By Les Christie, CNNMoney.com staff writer
June 13 2007

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- When Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munshin sang, "The people ride in a hole in the ground," they weren't kidding about New Yorkers.

A new study says their use of public transportation dwarfs that of any other city, about 6 times as much as Chicago, which has the second most public transit commuters in the nation.

About 1.9 million, or 55 percent, of New York workers commuted by subway or bus in 2005, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest American Community Survey. Chicago had about 294,000 public transportation commuters, or 25 percent of its 1.2 million workers.

The report covered the 50 cities with the most workers aged 16 or above.

Five of the top 10 public cities, by percentage, were on the Washington to Boston corridor with Baltimore and Philadelphia residents the other frequent users.

Washington had the second highest ratio of public transit users at 37.7 percent. In no other city did the percentage rise above a third. In Los Angeles, the nation's second biggest city, only 171,639 workers, or 10.3 percent, commuted by bus or rail.

Still, that beat out such older industrial towns as Milwaukee (7.6 percent), Detroit (7.1 percent) and Indianapolis (a paltry 1.8 percent).

Long-established West Coast cities such as San Francisco (32.7 percent), Seattle (17.0 percent) and Portland (13.3 percent) scored highly.

Southwestern, Southern and Mountain cities had among the lowest ratios of mass transit commuters. Only 0.4 percent of Arlington, Texas residents and 0.5 percent of Wichita, Kansas and Virginia City, Virginia, used public transportation.


My big fat American gas tax


In this era of high gas prices and heightened "green" awareness, moving commuters off the road and into public transportation can cut auto emissions, energy use and, it is hoped, global warming.

And If Mayor Mike Bloomberg gets his way, even more New Yorkers may soon be boarding trains to get to work.

Bloomberg has proposed a congestion-pricing plan that will charge motorists to travel into the business district of Manhattan during peak hours. The idea is to discourage them from driving to work.

Any money raised is supposed to be applied to the subways and buses, which would help keep transit fares low - currently they are $2 for a subway ride but less with volume discounts and monthly or weekly plans.

Some cities do encourage car-pooling to reduce congestion and lessen energy use. As a result, about one tenth of all U.S. workers car pool, more than three quarters of them with just a single other occupant, according to the census study.

The study also said Mesa, Arizona (16.7 percent), Phoenix (16.2 percent) and Sacramento (15.7 percent) have the highest ratios of car-pooling commuters.

In Portland, Oregon one of the major commuting methods of choice is two-wheelers. The study said more Portlanders bike to work than anywhere else - 3.5 percent of the workforce. That's about eight times higher than the national average of 0.4 percent.

Boston is the leading walk-to-work city; 13.5 percent of its residents commute by riding shank's mare, well above the 2.5 percent national average.



City State / Public transit users / % of workers


New York NY / 1.87 million / 54.6%

Washington DC / 94,260 / 37.7%

San Francisco CA / 124,738 / 32.7%

Boston MA / 80,141 / 31.7%

Philadelphia PA / 139,247 / 25.9%

Chicago IL / 293,703 / 25.3%

Baltimore MD / 48,252 / 18.9%

Seattle WA / 51,259 / 17.0%

Oakland CA / 27,114 / 16,5%

Portland OR / 34,195 / 13.3%


© 2007 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
 

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Downtown San Jose
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Public transportation only works in urbanized areas! Yes, in places like Chicago, Manhattan and SF it's a viable option but in places like most of San Jose and Phoenix taking public transportation likey involves walking ten boring blocks, waiting for a bus that only comes by every 15-45 minutes, taking it for 30 minutes, then walking another ten boring blocks. So very quickly a 30 minute commute by car can become a two-hour hassle. Dont be so quick to judge, modestproposal! ;)

i'm lucky in that i can take the train (Caltrain) to work...it's a little pricier than driving and takes an extra 30 minutes but i get to ride my bike to the train station :) unfortunately not many people in this area are lucky (or is is smart??) enough to live and work near train stations.
 

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I live in Indy, and i take public transit. It saves me a fortune, and I think I can suck up not being able to listen to a few tunes, and has anyone ever heard of a CD player or Ipod? Hell, I walk and bike aswell, I can say I rarely use my car for anything. I mean really, why would I spend all that extra cash on it when I could just use public transit. I honestly care a litte more about how me using my car like oxygen affects others.
 

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Yeah, the world becomes so much more limited. That sounds great.
this is an ignorant view of mass transit. Sorry that with public transit you have to be in contact of other human beings. Filthy isnt it?
:lol:
You can get places, no you cant take your way, but you can still get there.
Its not as horrible as you seem to think.:nuts:
 

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sucks
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The above two posters are what is wrong with America. If only there were some disease that afflicted highway users exclusively.

I'm proud to see both Washington and Baltimore in the top 10.




You are stupid. No explanation necessary.
Because I don't like confining myself to urban areas? That's stupid?
this is an ignorant view of mass transit.
It would be if that was my whole view. My comment was in reaction to what i perceived as more anti-car urban elitism. All I did was state the downside.
 

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KRUDMONK.

that is how ignorant people treat you here, if you don't like what they like.
I wonder if there are a lot of people still on theirs teens.

becasue of the way they think.

nobody has to call stupid someone just becasue they don't agree with you
 

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I wish people would learn how much better life is when you walk or take public transit.
I've been walking the crap out of New York lately. Last weekend I walked from 33rd to 16th to 59th and I was sort of winded but not as much as I thought I would be. The point is you get a better feel of your city when you actually hit the pavement. The sounds, smells, sights every 4 blocks in Manhattan are completely different from eachother. My husband and I own an Expedition, and a Lexus because we go out to Long Island and Upstate alot but have used it in Manhattan and the experience is much more frusterating than the subway or foot. ( Never been on a bus in my life)
 

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KRUDMONK.

that is how ignorant people treat you here, if you don't like what they like.
I wonder if there are a lot of people still on theirs teens.

becasue of the way they think.

nobody has to call stupid someone just becasue they don't agree with you
The only ignorant statement made here was by KRUDMONK when he so cavalierly declared that mass transit makes the world more limited. Yeah, you make sure the millions of American families who can't afford gas or cars get that memo, k? Come back to me when you can form a logical thought.
 

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sucks
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You clearly implied that mass transit is a negative and makes the world more limited. You are patently wrong. Saying something that is obviously wrong is stupid. You are stupid.

Anyone who can't see why he is wrong is also stupid.
If you are confined to mass transit, your world is more limited. That is not wrong, that is fact. Simply compare the total miles and footprint of roads to rails. Does that mean cars are the only way to go all the time? No, certainly not.
Conversely, is rail the only answer? Also no.
 

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Journeyman
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What others spend on cars I spend on travel and save for early retirement. A car would mean I couldn't do one or both of those things. So a car would be limiting.
 

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If you are confined to mass transit, your world is more limited. That is not wrong, that is fact. Simply compare the total miles and footprint of roads to rails. Does that mean cars are the only way to go all the time? No, certainly not.
Conversely, is rail the only answer? Also no.
people should learn to be less addicted to their goddamn cars.
You have two feet. Use them.
I find cars quite dull, I mean, you dont see other people, and their life, you dont see different things, hear different voices, all you hear is the humming of the wheels and maybe some akon or something. I prefer being around human life. People seem like robots in cars, we are over auto addicted. its sick.

Half the reason I can afford to live where I do, is because of mass transit. I dont have to spend hundreds of dollars on oil, all that stays in my pocket and goes to better things, liek groceries, bills, etc.
 

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Yeah, the world becomes so much more limited. That sounds great.
Whose world are we talking about here? Suburban Americans' world? Perhaps. But don't for a second think it has to be that way. Suburban Japanese enjoy transit options that people living in the urban core of all but a select handful of North American cities couldn't dream of having. Living in suburban Tokyo but without a car and want to spend the weekend in the mountains of rural Nagano or the beaches of rural Izu? Not a problem, because the JR rail system covers practically every square kilometer of Japan. I understand this is an unrealistic expectation for America, but it is not unreasonable or unrealistic for suburban Americans living in the larger metro areas (such as the Bay Area, Chicagoland, Southern California or the BosWash Corridor) to expect decent rail options. Such rail options exist in abundance throughout Western Europe as well; the difference is simply that the Japanese, British, French and German governments actually allocate appropriate funding for rail maintenance and expansion, whereas the American government is too tied to Big Oil and the automotive industry to follow suit. Hopefully this will change as the price of oil in America falls in line with what the rest of the industrialized world has been paying for decades.
 

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If you are confined to mass transit, your world is more limited. That is not wrong, that is fact. Simply compare the total miles and footprint of roads to rails. .
How about Quality over Quantity? I would rather take the EL in Chicago for 2 miles, going through some of the best neighborhoods in the city than driving 50 miles on some boring ass highway. I would not consider myself more limited.
 

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I've been walking the crap out of New York lately. Last weekend I walked from 33rd to 16th to 59th and I was sort of winded but not as much as I thought I would be. The point is you get a better feel of your city when you actually hit the pavement. The sounds, smells, sights every 4 blocks in Manhattan are completely different from eachother. My husband and I own an Expedition, and a Lexus because we go out to Long Island and Upstate alot but have used it in Manhattan and the experience is much more frusterating than the subway or foot. ( Never been on a bus in my life)
When I was in your city, I walked straight from the battery to Columbia.
 
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