78 percent of Minnesota commuters drive to work alone

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Minneapolis is debating streetcars, the whole metro is up in arms over the beleaguered Southwest Corridor light rail plan, and the long-awaited Minneapolis-to-St. Paul Green Line is set to open sometime mid-next year.

But while the Twin Cities talks mass transit, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, a full 77 percent of metro area commuters are still driving to work alone. For the state as a whole, that number is 78 percent; for the country, it's a slightly better 76 percent.

See Also:
- Green Line test trains now running down University Avenue [IMAGES]
- Minneapolis ranks second in bike commuting, with our old nemesis taking top honors

The stats come courtesy of the latest American Communities Survey, which breaks down, among other things, how we worked and got to work in 2012.

Last year, per the survey, 8.5 percent of Twin Cities-area denizens carpooled, and 5.1 percent got to work on public transportation. State-wide, the numbers are similar: 9 percent of Minnesotans carpooled, and 3.2 percent rode mass transit.

What about the walkers and bikers? In 2012, 2.8 percent of Minnesotans walked to work, and 43,798 of us -- that's 1.5 percent of the over-16 commuting population -- rode in via "taxicab, motorcycle, bicycle, or other means." And 5.3 percent of the state's workers did their jobs from home.

The rest of the survey is packed with more details about our day-to-day lives (40 percent of us leave for work between 6:30 a.m. and 8 a.m.). Check it out here.

-- Tips or comments? Reach Olivia LaVecchia by email or on Twitter at @olavecchia

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55 comments
_Joe_
_Joe_

I would take public transit if it were feasible for me.  The problem is that it takes me 12 minutes to get to work in my car, and about 73 minutes to get to work on public transit.  My commute home is about 20 minutes vs the roughly 86 minutes public transit would take.

That's 2 hours and 7 minutes a day more than driving in a car.  Or 10.5 hours a week.  

That's like working 6 days a week.  Fuck that.

Susan Woehrle
Susan Woehrle

Bike. I live less than 20 blocks from my job.

hooligan2
hooligan2

So far the Northstar Line is a joke unless you're working at a very particular time or going to a Twins game. So it's just easier and less hassle to drive. Also if you bring tools to your job each day, it isn't going to work on public transportation.

Marcus Nielson
Marcus Nielson

It's too easy and cheap to drive alone. US citzens don'r pay for the *true* cost in gas, infrastructure or space. cars (especially SOV) take up a huge ammount of natural resources that are not sustainable.

Elisabeth Morley
Elisabeth Morley

I would love to take public transit to work, but I live in St Paul and work in Eden Prairie and at odd times of the day. I am very excited for the new green line though--that will make going to both downtowns for events so much easier!

Erik Seavey
Erik Seavey

To the period that don't like driving. You're driving and parking in the wrong places. Driving in uptown sux. Same for an busy part of the city. Try the suburbs. There are wide roads and free parking lots. The way God meant it to be.

Erik Seavey
Erik Seavey

I drive 30 to 45 minutes to work from White Bear Lake to Bloomington. Bus would be an hour and fifteen minutes and transfers. Not counting driving to park and ride and then getting dropped off a half mile from work. Not convenient at all but maybe that can't be expected. Having only ridden the bus a couple time in my life the trip itself is a daunting proposition.

Sujan Kumar Mathur
Sujan Kumar Mathur

I don't like driving, if i could, i would sell my car, save money and bus/walk/bike to work. Unfortunately , living in uptown and working in Shoreview..there's no easy way for me to bus to work.

Thomas Rehbein
Thomas Rehbein

I love driving to work alone. It is quite literally the only alone time I get.

Chris Gliedman
Chris Gliedman

I fly to work powered only by my feeling of self-importance.

Patty Boris
Patty Boris

I can't afford to have a car, so public transit is my lifeblood.

Lindsey Clarke
Lindsey Clarke

I walk. Half way across the city. Because fuck cars in a city and being lazy.

Ran Dazzle
Ran Dazzle

as they will continue to do and they can build light rails and open trolley cars till they are blue in the face

John J. Lopez
John J. Lopez

I ride metro transit everyday, St. Paul to Minneapolis. If even 20% more people starting riding my bus line we would be extremely over loaded. I'm sure more transit would help but isn't that that the same as more cars. Where's the pay off??

Madison Allen
Madison Allen

So that means Minneapolis/St Paul can't have them? Cause barely anyone has them? I don't understand your point.

btwftw
btwftw

You can't live and work in Minnesota and NOT commute alone in a car. There may be the fortunate few who have car pooling as a possible and convenient option. Using our severely inadequate mass transit system isn't an option for those of us who work in the sprawling suburbs. Who wants to get up at 4am and take six different buses to their job?

Matt Clemetson
Matt Clemetson

I drive alone. It takes me less than 5 minutes to get to work.

Jenks LeVar
Jenks LeVar

Its hard you got old School Minnesotans who don twant to give up the power of the car and being able to leave and go wherever you want..even though it takes 4X longer they dont care as long as they are independent...In America we have a little bit of anxiety when it comes to the colony mentality but we could let a little china and Japan rub off on us.

Jenks LeVar
Jenks LeVar

NOBODY has those on theres sighns except NY and La..and Chicago barely.

Mary Kellogg
Mary Kellogg

People love their flexibility, privacy, etc. I took the bus for years to DT while living in the "burbs", even as a single parent! Check out the Smart Cars I think they are for rent in the city!

Sonia Palmer
Sonia Palmer

I drive alone. It's the only time in my entire day when I can get some solitude. Sorry, I need it for my mental health.

John Wolfsberger
John Wolfsberger

I'll never feel guilty about driving my car. You can't make me!

mumblefaery
mumblefaery

If there was a reasonable way for me to get from S MPLS to Bloomington via public transit, I would love to have that option. Unfortunately, Minneapolis/St Paul's public transit doesn't hold a candle to cities like Chicago. If there were more train options, I would take the train, just like I did in Chicago.

Kurt Duerksen
Kurt Duerksen

I bike from St. Louis Park to Eden Prairie year round.

Ryan Schoenefeld
Ryan Schoenefeld

Bike commuting is the way to go. My wheels are a free gym membership, plus I see parts of Mpls that cars can't access.

Jason McCain
Jason McCain

I love my car and alone time with me and my tunes.

Benjamin Gray
Benjamin Gray

Needs to be more accessible. I live in st. Paul, work in fridley, but I work until 2 a.m.

Jessica Maria Hakala
Jessica Maria Hakala

I used to have to drive a half an hour to work. Now it's a less than ten minute walk!

David Roberts
David Roberts

Even when I didn't live downtown, I took a 15 mile long express bus ride. I hate driving, plus I can actually get stuff done or sleep while on the bus.

David Roberts
David Roberts

I bike or bike share a mile to and from work every day no matter what the weather is.

Patricia Peterson
Patricia Peterson

I love mass transit and use it more often than I drive, but that is because I live in the city. There still aren't very many appealing options for those that live in the suburbs. I think it's going to take time and action to really convince the majority of commuters that mass transit is a viable option.

Harry Drury
Harry Drury

So what's your point I start at 6 am 30 miles from home and work until 6 pm how do I get home

aardvark12
aardvark12

I live in Uptown Minneapolis and work in downtown St Paul. I drive to work everyday, even with the horrible traffic at the 35W/94 interchange. I had hopes of using the new Mpls-St Paul LRT, but just found out that they have no park-and-ride options. That limits usage to folks who live along the rail line already - who, presumably, are already taking the express bus (94). What's the point of the LRT then - just to replace the bus line??

Madison Allen
Madison Allen

I take the bus. However I just moved here from NYC and this transit is very frustrating (granted I was spoiled in NYC). Simply putting up signs and schedules at the bus stops would help a lot. I never know what bus is coming to what stop. I always have to check google maps.

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

This is what happens after decades of Republican leadership - mass transit struggles to keep pace with growth. If Jesse Ventura hadn't helped push the light rail through during his tenure we wouldn't have that, and lacking that success to spur things on we probably wouldn't even have the upcoming Minneapolis/St. Paul line. And before any reality-denying, transit-hating naysayers chime in that the Hiawatha line is "a failure," 2012 ridership exceeded projected ridership by 30%... the ridership projected for 2020. http://www.metrotransit.org/metro-transit-2012-ridership-tops-81-million

Lily Ann
Lily Ann

I take the bus. From St Paul to Mpls. I take the bus to school in St Paul and Mpls. There is no reason for me to have a car.

Patrick Murphy
Patrick Murphy

Taxpayers funding the new Vikings stadium and Target Center renovation should help.

Peggy Barbis
Peggy Barbis

Weather permitting, I bike. Once the streets get icy, I use bus & train.

WatusiJenkins
WatusiJenkins

Further proof that extensions of mass transit in the twin cities are a waste of money. Urban sprawl has already happened. If the powers that be wanted the the twin cities to be a mass transit-heavy metro area, they should have thought of that 50 years ago (and kept the street car system).  

TC4L
TC4L

Agreed.  This is probably agreed for most.  They were talking about putting the light rail outside my work building in Minnetonka.  That would be great but it was just talk at the time.  Could save about $100 a month and read something instead of sitting in traffic but bus transfers is a little over 2 hrs one way. Or 30 minutes in a car.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@Chris Gliedman You win the comments.

richardconklin
richardconklin

@Madison Allen I also find this highly frustrating, that there are no maps at bus stops.  I cant imagine it being that expensive to put a bus route map placard every other bus stop on a route. 

blainegarrett
blainegarrett

@WatusiJenkins Based on how packed the Hiawatha Line is during rush hour, I'd say there is a desire by the drivers of these single passenger commuter cars to have better transportation options. I wish they could poll the 77% and ask if they'd prefer not to be driving alone. I'm sure many don't have an option - i.e. don't work along the Hiawatha line, buses don't run when they goto/leave work, etc. I'm sure only a moderate fraction anymore likes the freedom and/or doesn't care about the hassle of parking/gas/traffic/etc.

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