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Seattle uses more public transportation than U.S. average

Seattle Business Journal
SEATTLE – In Seattle, 17 percent of workers use public transportation to get to their jobs, which is above the U.S. average and ranks the city No. 10 nationally, according to the U.S. Census.

New Yorkers lead the nation in using public transportation, with 55 percent using mass transit, according to the Census Bureau's 2002 American Community Survey. Last week, the Census released data that indicated it took the average Seattle worker 23.8 minutes to get to work, which was less than the U.S. average of 24.4 minutes.

Following New York was Washington, D.C., where 37 percent used public transportation. The next highest users of public transportation in the U.S. were: Boston and San Francisco (31 percent); Chicago and Philadelphia (27 percent); Newark, N.J. (26 percent); Baltimore (25 percent); and Pittsburgh (22 percent). Seattle tied with Minneapolis at 17 percent.

Washington state ranked No. 10 nationally, tied with California and Pennsylvania, with 5 percent of the state's workers using public transportation to get to work. The national average is also 5 percent.

The Washington county ranking the highest in public transportation usage was King County, at 9 percent.

The Census data indicated that 70 percent of Seattle workers commuted by car, truck or van; that 59 percent drove alone (Minneapolis ranked the highest of the nation's top 10 cities at 61 percent driving alone, and Seattle was No. 2); 11 percent carpooled and 3 percent worked at home (San Francisco led this category, with 7 percent working from home). Nationwide, 77 percent of workers drove alone to work and 10 percent carpooled.

The other Washington city noted in the Census survey was Yakima, where 4 percent of the city's residents use public transportation to get to work.