American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

AASHTO Commuting In America Report Reveals New Modal Patterns and Trends

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials is releasing the first parts of "Commuting in America 2013" — a series of 16 briefs analyzing the evolving role of commuting, which accounts for 28 percent of the passenger miles traveled on America’s roadways.

“Commuters make up a large, dynamic and evolving sector of the traveling public,” said Bud Wright, AASHTO executive director. “Workers need dependable access to employment and businesses need access to both workers and customers. Transportation is the essential link that underpins the economic health of households, communities, and our nation as a whole."

"Commuting in America 2013" examines the historical shift in employment from manufacturing and agriculture toward economic diversification and growth in service, information and technology-related employment sectors. Its purpose is to help those in public policy, planning, research, and education better understand the patterns and trends in the nature of work and commuting that are influencing critical transportation policy issues and investment priorities.

This is the fourth in a series of "Commuting in America" reports published since 1987. The report was co-authored by Alan Pisarski, a transportation consultant who authored the three previous reports, and Steve Polzin, Ph.D., of the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida.

“Over the past 25 years, these reports have documented the story of the working years of the baby-boomer generation,” said Pisarski. “Today we’re finding that work related travel is being shaped by technological advances in IT and telecommunications, seven-days-per-week and 24-hours-per-day retail operations, and efforts by many employers to accommodate family-friendly work schedules. Decision makers can use this information to support sound decisions about future needs and investments.”

"Commuting in America 2013" is supported by the AASHTO Census Transportation Planning Products Program and carried out in conjunction with a National Cooperative Highway Research Program project that provided supporting data and analysis. For additional information and to download the briefs, go to

The first two briefs are now available for download:

• Brief 1: Overview: provides a summary of the development of the CIA 2013 series and establishes institutional context, objectives, importance, data sources and products.
• Brief 2: The Role of Commuting in Overall Travel: presents national trend data on the relative role of commuting in overall person travel, and explores commuting as a share of trips, miles of travel and travel time at the national level.

The remaining briefs will be available for download in the upcoming months. The briefs will include topics such as population and worker tends and dynamics; vehicle and transit availability; vehicle ownership and licensure levels; and the use of transit services, biking, walking and carpool commuting options.