U.S. Transportation and Commute Statistics

Transportation Commute

How do Americans commute to work? 

Not planes, not trains—automobiles.

In 2016,

128.3 million 

drove in a car, truck, or van.

7.6 million

took public transportation.

7.6 million

worked from home.


—American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates

The American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, publishes detailed estimates on commuters' means of transportation to work. This data is limited to workers 16 years and older, and is collected based on the workers' residences rather than the locations of their jobs. Unlike the Census—which is an exact count of people and households every ten years—ACS statistics are estimated based on a representative survey sample.

How many commuters carpool, and how many drive alone? 

Among drivers, roughly 10.5% carpooled to work in 2016. The rest drove to work alone.

How do non-drivers commute to work?

Among Public Transportation Commuters:

After driving to work, the most common way Americans commute is public transportation via buses, trains, and ferries. 

Working from home has become roughly as common as taking public transportation. In 2011, 5.9 million Americans worked from home. By 2016, that number had increased significantly to 7.5 million.