Once Popular, Car Pools Go the Way of Hitchhiking

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Remember the 1970s? Watergate, disco, oil embargoes and, of course, car-pooling. Many big companies organized group rides for their employees, and roughly one in four Americans who drove to work shared a ride with others.
Commuters in a suburban mall lot awaited drivers seeking car-pool passengers so they could use the fast lanes. They call out destinations to places like the Pentagon and downtown Washington.
Interstate 95, northbound, in Dale City, Va., during the morning rush. The lanes on the left are open to all traffic. The lanes on the right are open to buses and cars with at least three riders.
But now far more people are driving alone, as companies have spread out, Americans are wealthier and cars have become cheaper to own. The percentage of workers who car-pool has dropped by almost half since 1980, the first time the Census Bureau started systematically tracking the numbers, according to new data from the bureau.