- The largest group of public transportation commuters (46.3% of all public transportation commuters, or about 3.6 million people) reported the bus as their primary commuting mode. Subway or elevated rail was the next most-common mode (37.7%), followed by long-distance train or commuter rail (11.8%); light rail, streetcar or trolley (3.1%); and ferryboat (1.0%).
- In the largest cities of U.S. metro areas, 11.5% of workers commuted by transit. Roughly 3 million of the nation’s 7.8 million public transportation commuters lived in the New York metro area.
- A larger percentage of women (5.2%) than men (4.7%) used public transportation to commute in 2019.
- The percentage of workers who commuted by public transportation varied by region. The Northeast had the highest share of workers who commuted by transit, at 14.3%, followed by the West (4.4%), the Midwest (3.0%), and the South (2.0%).
The percentage of U.S. workers commuting by public transportation fell from 12.1% in 1960 to around 5.0% in 2019.
The data in this report are based on 2019 American Community Survey (ACS), 1-year estimates. Interviews took place from Jan. 1, 2019, through Dec. 31, 2019. ACS travel questions focus only on commuting and do not include nonwork trips.
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