With the worldwide semiconductor chip shortage driving up vehicle prices and the approval of the $1 trillion federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, transportation is top of mind for many Americans.
Access to public transportation is limited in many areas, and American workers rely heavily on personal vehicles to get to work. But the delivery of new vehicles has been delayed by chip shortages and low supply inventories. Consumers have also seen sky-high sticker prices for both new and used vehicles, making buying a car cost-prohibitive for many.
However, commuting in the United States has a history of change and evolution, with the latest disruption coming in the form of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, more Americans are reevaluating the idea that they must travel to work every day. Many are opting to work either partially or fully remote—saving on gas, mileage on their vehicles, and time spent on long commutes via public transportation systems.
The average one-way commute in America is 28 minutes
More than 130 million workers drove to work in 2019
5% of workers take public transportation
Nearly 25% of commuters travel outside their home county for work
While most commuters work and live within the same counties, nearly a quarter travel outside their counties for their jobs. Much less common, at less than 4%, are those who cross state lines for employment. This may be an issue of affordability—the cities or counties they work in can often be significantly more expensive than the areas where they live. For example, with the average home in Seattle priced at $663,100, many commuters reside in less expensive suburbs such as Bothell, Washington, where the average home costs $530,300.
Nearly 8 million employees worked from home before the coronavirus pandemic—and this number keeps growing