This infograph compares methods of traveling to work with inflation rate, cost of vehicle maintenance, and the average weekly earnings of a full-time employee. I wanted to see if there was a changing trend in how people travel to work in regards to the current economic situation, expecting far fewer people to be driving themselves to work in recent years, and opting for carpools or public transportation instead. And while there has been a decline in driving to work alone, it was smaller than expected, at about a 3% decrease. To explain the small change, I compared average income, cost of maintaining a vehicle, and also took into consideration the inflation rate. I found that the cost of maintaining a vehicle has steadily increased over the years, but so has the average income, so the rising cost is actually covered. However, the inflation rate has not been so steady, and was even slightly negative in 2009, so the rising income and costs cannot be contributed purely to inflation rate. So, it seems that although we know the unemployment rate has increased, those who are still employed are generally using the same methods to get to work, particularly since rising vehicle maintenance costs are covered by rising incomes for those still employed.
The main graph, running vertically, shows method of travel, with the y-axis being percent of people, and different colors representing different travel methods. Of the graphs layered on top, the bottom most shows cost of maintaining a vehicle, in cents per mile. The middle is average income of a full-time employee, in dollars per week, and the top is change in inflation rate by percentage. All four graphs share the same x-axis, which is years. Data from 1990-2009 is represented.