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Study: Only One Third Of Workers In Center City Drive To Job

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - You might not believe it if you're stuck in traffic at rush hour, but a new study finds that only about a third of people who work in Center City drive to their jobs.

The report, by the Center City District, touts the convenience of living and working in Center City, which hosts nearly half of all jobs in the city. CEO Paul Levy says in some neighborhoods -- Chinatown and Rittenhouse Square, for instance -- one-fifth or less of residents drive to work.

"To have such a very high percentage of people who never use a car to get to work. They're either walking to work, taking public transit or using a bike."

But nearly 40 percent of the downtown workforce lives outside the city and they, too, are abandoning cars.

Take Thomas Jefferson University professors Roseann Schaaf, who says, "I commute about 30-plus miles from the Western suburbs."

When the weather's nice, Schaaf bikes all the way. In poor weather, she takes SEPTA Regional Rail.  Like those surveyed, she has suggestions for improving commuting conditions: more secure bike racks, more frequent train service and better bike accommodation on SEPTA trains.

But driving? "I avoid it at all costs."

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