Here’s a confession: Before I moved to LA I didn’t drive. I bought a car and learned to drive because everyone said–and I have always believed–you cannot live happily in this city as a non-driver. So how surprised was I to learn that LA is above the national average for public transportation use. The US Census Bureau just released a data set that breaks down how people get to work city-by-city. (It’s true: I am enough of a complete geek that I subscribe the US Census’ feed. So sue me.)
While I wasn’t surprised to read that “about half of the nation’s public transportation commuters can be found in 10 of the nation’s 50 cities with the most workers age 16 or over,” I didn’t expect to see LA on that list. Shows what I know. On average 4.7% of United Statians take public transportation to work, while 10.3 of Los Angelenos do. We rate higher than average on carpooling (11.7% versus 10.7% nationally), bicycling (.6% versus .4% nationally), working from home (4.7% compared to 3.6%), and even walking to work (3.2% in our fair city, 2.5% in the country as a whole). I know living in Encino and working in Chatsworth, as I do, does not exactly grant one an accurate lens through which to view the city as a whole, but still….I’m pretty blown away by the fact that LA is above the mean in every category. I don’t know whether to be proud of LA or distressed about the country as a whole.