- Associated Press - Saturday, June 27, 2015

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Things to know about commuting in Alabama:

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PUBLIC TRANSIT

Public transit isn’t much of a factor in trying to eliminate traffic jams in Alabama.

Among the state’s four largest cities, Birmingham has the largest number of people using buses or vans to commute to work with 3,866 daily, Census figures show. Compare that with the 427,121 total solo drivers in the metro area and it is little surprise that U.S. 280 and Interstate 65 are both parking lots during rush hour.

Mobile is No. 2 in the state with 1,028 commuters using public transit, followed by Montgomery with 730.

Huntsville comes in last among the state’s largest metro areas with only 484 commuters using its shuttle buses and vans to travel to and from work, Census numbers show.

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COMMUTE TIMES

Solo drivers spend longer going to work in Birmingham than in any other of the state’s metro areas.

A motorist headed to work in Birmingham spends 25.7 minutes behind the wheel, federal numbers show. Statistically, that’s not much different than the U.S. mean of 24.4 minutes.

But commuting times are worse in Birmingham than other large Alabama cities.

Perhaps because of slow traffic across Mobile Bay and through tunnels, solo commuters in Mobile have the state’s second-longest drive to work, 23 minutes. Montgomery drivers spend 21.8 minutes by themselves on the way to work, and Huntsville drivers commute 21.6 minutes each way.

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CARPOOLING

A larger percentage of drivers carpool to work in Montgomery than anywhere else in Alabama.

Statistics show 14,928 commuters shared rides to work in the capital city, or about 10 percent of the city’s total number of people working outside the home.

Mobile is No. 2, with 9 percent of its commuters using carpools to get to and from work, and Birmingham is next with 8 percent of its drivers using carpools.

Huntsville is last at 7 percent.

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