Tim Henderson | Stateline

The Tower Bridge links Sacramento with West Sacramento. imging / Shutterstock.comJillian Golan got tired of paying repair bills for her 2001 Volkswagen Cabriolet convertible last year and started walking the 20 minutes to her job at a dialysis clinic in Philadelphia. A year and a half later, she hasn’t looked back, joining the growing ranks of people giving up cars for commuting.

“I’m saving a ton of money. No car payment, no insurance, no worrying about a parking ticket,” said Golan, 37. “If I were to buy a car again, I would have to cut back on a lot of things I do socially, and I’m not willing to do that. I have a lot of friends who don’t have cars or never had cars.”

Nationwide, the percentage of workers who commute by car declined from 88 percent in 2000 to 86 percent in 2010-2013, according to a Stateline analysis of census numbers.  Car commuting percentages were down dramatically in some urban areas, but also in smaller Western towns that are making a focused effort to promote alternatives.

The places with the most dramatic declines include the District of Columbia, where the rate declined 11 percentage points to 39 percent; the Bronx, New York, where it was down 9 percentage points to 28 percent; and Hudson County, New Jersey (home of Jersey City), where it was down 8 percentage points to 47 percent. Read more