NC in Focus: Commuting by Public Transportation
North Carolina’s 4.2 million workers mainly get to work by car: 81% drive alone and 10% carpool. Working at home (4.4%) and walking (1.8%) are the next most common means of transportation according to the 2009-13 American Community Survey. Only about 1.2% or 50,000 individuals use public transportation to get to work (including taxicabs). North Carolina has the 32nd highest share of workers using public transportation to commute to work.
Excluding taxi users, nearly 46,000 North Carolinians or 1.1% of resident workers use public transportation to get to work. Five counties have higher public transportation usage rates than the state as a whole: Orange (7.6%), Durham (3.6%), Mecklenburg (3.4%), Guilford (1.5%), and Watauga (1.2%).
The state’s public transit riders are concentrated in the largest urban areas. More than 15,000 or 33% of all public transit riders live in Mecklenburg County. Another 27% live in one of the core counties of the Triangle (Wake, Orange, or Durham). Nearly 11% live in the core Triad counties, Guilford and Forsyth.
Most public transit riders live and work in the same county (86%), but 12% cross county lines on their public transit commute. Four of the top 5 cross-county commuting flows are among the Triangle area’s 3 core counties, commuting facilitated by Triangle Transit, a cross-county public transportation service. Union County into Mecklenburg is the second largest cross-county commuting flow via public transit.
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