EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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September 30, 2012

Rockingham Co. commuters more apt to drive alone

More commuters hit the road alone

(Continued)

“There are people who have to drive for their work,” she said.

One of them is Blake Root of Nottingham, who was filling up in Londonderry. He said he has to drive alone because he is a runner for his company.

“Yes, I drive alone most days except the weekends,” Root said.

While more Granite Staters are car pooling, 8.6 percent compared to 7.7 percent, Rockingham County car pooling remained level at 6.4 percent, as did the number nationwide at 9.7 percent.

Katrina Kennett of Quincy was driving alone through New Hampshire on business when she stopped for ga

s in L

ondonderry. But she frequently ride shares at work.

“I tend to car pool twice a week. The company is nice and there is the savings on gas,” Kennett said.

Public transit use, meanwhile, was up nationally at 5 percent, compared to 4.9 percent year over year in the Census figures.

It remained level in Rockingham County at 0.9 percent. But public transit use fell 0.2 percent in New Hampshire from 0.9 percent to 0.7 percent.

State Department of Transportation figures tell a different story about public transit use along the Interstate 93 corridor from Manchester to Logan Airport.

Boston Express passenger counts for August were up 4.2 percent year over year with 32,156 riders.

Park-and-ride lot use also was up for the same period year over year, with parking spaces showing increased occupancy in North Londonderry, Windham and Salem. The Salem lot saw a 13 percent jump.

Tim Sullivan of Litchfield carpooled last week from North Londonderry with fellow construction worker Dave Gerlach. They ride together every day, usually to the Boston area, though they headed north Thursday to Ashland for their work.

“Watch how fast this fills up,” Sullivan said, gesturing toward the parking lot.

He knows it is the price of gas.

“Three years ago, there were hardly any cars,” Sullivan said of the Londonderry park-and-ride. “Go over to Exit 4. That fills up so you can’t find a spot.”

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