How Missourians' Commute to Work

How Missourians commute to work has become an increasingly important issue, with gasoline prices skyrocketing and the concern over vehicle emissions and their contribution to global warming. According to the 2006 American Community Survey Census Bureau data, there are almost 2.75 million cars, trucks or vans with Missouri workers commuting to work everyday. Yet, if you look at each vehicle you would see 88 out of 100 drivers alone in their vehicle commuting to work. Nationwide you would see a little less at 87 out of 100 people commuting alone in a vehicle.

For those commuters that drove to work in Missouri, 11 percent chose to carpool, compared to a national average of twelve percent. The majority of carpools were two person carpools for both Missouri and the US. 

Of border states, Arkansas led in the number of commuters carpooling to work with 13 percent. Tennessee and Kansas had the lowest percent of carpoolers with 10 percent.

The leading Missouri metropolitan and county areas were the St. Louis city which carpooled at the rate of 14 percent, followed closely by Jefferson County at 12 percent. The lowest in surveyed areas was St. Charles County at only 7 percent. 

Other modes of transportation by Missouri workers were chosen by four percent of the workforce. These commuters used various means such as taxi, public transportation, bus, railroad, bicycle or walking to work.

If each driver carpooled one time a week, Missourians would see a 20 percent reduction in commuter traffic, reducing pollution, and congestion on Missouri Highways.

2006 US and Missouri Commuters
Description United States Missouri
Total Workers: 138,265,905 2,741,377
Car, truck, or van: 119,898,146 2,501,863
% Commuting in car, truck or van 86.7% 91.3%
Drove alone 105,046,395 2,215,467
% Drove Alone 87.6% 88.6%
Carpooled: 14,851,751 286,396
% of Drivers that Carpooled 12.4% 11.4%
In 2-person carpool 11,408,421 229,521
In 3-person carpool 1,992,101 34,827
In 4-or-more-person carpool 1,451,229 22,048
Public transportation (excluding taxicab): 6,684,040 37,909
Bus or trolley bus 3,704,610 34,700
Streetcar or trolley car (carro publico in Puerto Rico) 89,978 604
Subway or elevated 2,137,980 1,714
Railroad 709,794 659
Ferryboat 41,678 232
Bicycle 623,039 4,920
Walked 3,951,534 57,187
Taxicab, motorcycle, or other means 1,698,038 26,482
Worked at home 5,411,108 113,016
% Worked at home 3.9% 4.1%
% Using alternate means of transportation 9.4% 4.6%


Car Pooling Tips

-      Set a Drivers Schedule. Make sure everyone has a list with each carpooler's home and work phone numbers in case of illness or emergency. 

-      Find a convenient meeting place for everyone, like a Park & Ride lot, or pick each person up at home.

-      Set a few rules, like:

  1. How long you'll wait for late riders.

  2. Smoking Policy

  3. Eating/Drinking Policy

  4. Radio/CD/News or Nothing?

-     Decide upfront on costs. If you share the driving equally, you don't have to exchange money. If one person drives, divide the cost among the passengers.

-     Make sure the vehicle is in good repair and insurance is up to date.

The following are links to programs that will help drivers find carpooling opportunities in Missouri:

Mid-Missouri Rideshare Program
(573) 522-RIDE
Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources
Energy Center
P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102

 Source: Census Bureau, 2006 American Community Survey




Contact Us                                                       MERIC Home