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As Americans, many of us love driving. Commuting, though, might be a little less joyful. Surprisingly, most Americans don’t use carpooling to brighten their commute. 77% of commuters in the U.S. drive to work alone, meaning less than 23% of Americans carpool.
Commuting data compiled by Jerry shows that the top three states for group commuters are Washington, D.C., New York, and Hawaii. Here’s why commuting in groups is more popular in these areas.
The area with the highest percentage of carpoolers isn’t a state. However, it’s the only area in the country to have a majority of its population commute in groups (66%). Only 34% of Washingtonians commute alone, the lowest percentage in the states by far.
Commute costs may be a contributing factor. Washingtonians pay an average of $3.62 a gallon for gas, which is slightly above the national average. Their yearly commute costs come in at $5,302, which is the fourth-most expensive commute behind Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey.
Commuting in groups could help reduce congestion and improve commute times for everyone on the road. D.C. has the fourth-highest average commute times out of all the states, at 30.3 minutes going one way.
It’s important to note that the smaller area and population means it takes a lower number of carpoolers to up the percentage of people commuting in groups. Nevertheless, good on D.C. for their carpool contributions. The planet appreciates it.
Another state with a high number of carpoolers is New York. 47.08% of New Yorkers do not commute alone—nearly half of their population.
New Yorkers have the longest commute time at 33.3 minutes one-way. As a result, they spend the most time commuting per year with 289.71 hours behind the wheel. Drivers in New York also spend the second-most on gas per year—behind only California—at an average of $1,855.11.
However, when it all comes together, New York has the costliest commute by far, spending $7,200 a year on it. The closest state behind New York is Maryland, which averages $5,861.67 in yearly commute costs. Looking at these numbers, it’s quite understandable that many New Yorkers would rather split the costs.
Finally, Hawaii comes in at the number three spot. 32.89% of commuters spend their daily commute with others, leaving the other 67.11% to their solitary drive.
Gas prices in Hawaii could be one of the main factors that encourage carpooling. Hawaii has the second-highest gas prices in the nation, with residents paying $4.35 per gallon on average.
Their yearly commuting time is just slightly above the national average, so it’s unlikely that long commutes are a large factor. The yearly commute cost is also below average. Aside from high gas prices, it’s unclear why so many Hawaiians choose not to commute alone, but splitting gas costs sounds like a good enough reason to us.
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