Austinites are driving less and using public transportation more.
According to census data, the proportion of Austin workers that commute by private vehicle fell by 4.5 percent from 2000 to 2011. That’s the third largest decline in the country for an urban area.
Meanwhile, the number of public transit passenger miles went up by nearly 23 percent per person in that same time frame. The percentage of people commuting by bike also rose, by 0.3 percent.
The findings argue for more investment in alternate forms of transportation, says TexPIRG’s Sara Smith.
“Expanding bike lanes across the city is great because it provides people with a safer alternative … not having to dodge traffic,” Smith says. “So we’re really excited to see highway projects getting less funding and more funding going toward bike lanes and busses.”
Another reason people are driving less? More people are working from home. TexPIRG finds that Austin ranks fourth in the country for the percentage of people working from home; Austin saw a 2.6 percent increase in that category from 2000 to 2011.