Commuters are more lone wolf than members of the pack​

GettyImages-515200497.jpgWe Northwesterners love our mass transit – at least the idea of it. But when it comes to actually carpooling, vanpooling, Swift busing, Sounder or MAX light-rail riding, 94% of commuters say they'll pass, preferring instead to drive themselves to work every day.

The reasons? Three-fourths cite convenience, and even with growing traffic congestion, half say getting behind the wheel is still the fastest way to work.

Fastest" is a relative term, though: On average, commuters need about an hour a day to get to and from their jobs, and more than half say they're spending more time in their cars than ever before. As a result, nearly one quarter admit they get "very or extremely" irritated when stuck in heavy traffic.

But apparently, not vexed enough to share the ride. Rolling solo, not using the buddy system, is the method of choice to conquer choked freeways. Other ways people try and shave time off their commutes - 57% of us hop on backroads or snake through residential streets on our commutes. And about one-third have shifted their work hours to avoid peak commute times.

Fewer than one-quarter (18%) say they'd switch to public transportation if it were convenient.

There's just something to be said, I guess, for the solitude and control that comes with being cocooned in our own cars – captain of the route, radio, temperature, and of course, the drive-through espresso stand we hit to charge ourselves up for the concrete crawl.

Read the complete PEMCO Northwest Poll, in which Seattle's FBK Research surveyed 1,200 Washington and Oregon residents. 

by  Derek Wing

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