Use of commute alternatives continues to fall according to new State of the Region report released by Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) released on January 5, 2006. SCAG reports that "Between 2000 and 2004, carpooling share of work trips dropped by almost 3 percent with corresponding increases in drive-alone commuting."
Using the data from the American Community Survey for 2004 for some select MSAs, it appears that LA isn't alone. However, only three other of the MSAs shown below had a statistically significant change (decrease) from 2003. Three MSAs appeared to show INCREASES in carpooling - Salt Lake City, San Diego and Tampa Bay MSAs - but those changes also are not statistically significant. An * indicates that the estimate is significantly different (at a 90% confidence level) than the estimate from the most current year. The bottom line is that communities should use care when examining these changes from one year to the next. Long term trends may be more revealing.
It would be interesting to compare changes in travel behavior based on the investments made in those options. But that's a topic for another post.