Earth Day or No Earth Day, Many U.S. Commuters Aren't Very 'Eco-Friendly,' Survey Finds

20 Apr '07
Earth Day or No Earth Day, Many U.S. Commuters Aren't Very 'Eco-Friendly,' Survey Finds

TROY, MI, Apr 20, 2007 -- Despite growing awareness of the positive role that mass transit can play in addressing global warming, a new international workplace survey by leading staffing company Kelly Services (NASDAQ: KELYA) (NASDAQ: KELYB) finds that many Americans aren't as eco-friendly as their global colleagues when it comes to getting to and from work.

The Kelly Services Global Workforce Index found that only 34 percent of the Americans surveyed prefer public transportation over their own vehicle for their daily commute. That's about half the global average of 64 percent and the second-lowest rate among all countries surveyed (Turkey came in at 29 percent).

Earth Day 2007 , being celebrated April 22, is focusing worldwide attention on the impact of climate change and finding solutions.

But the survey strongly suggests that it may be a lack of convenience and accessibility -- not anti-environment attitudes -- that is steering many Americans to their own wheels. Only 51 percent of those surveyed said they had the choice of public transportation, compared with a global average of 72 percent and as much as 90 percent or more in Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia and Russia.

"Many people are perfectly happy to use public transportation rather than drive a private motor vehicle, but if the system is inaccessible or too costly, they are left with little choice," said George Corona, senior vice president of Kelly Services. "A public transportation system that is dependable, safe and affordable, however, can make a valuable contribution to the economy as well as to individual prosperity by making it easier for people to find a job and keep it."

Asked what single factor would encourage greater use of public transportation, the largest group of Americans (32 percent) cited more convenient access, followed by more frequent services (16 percent) and lower prices (10 percent). Concerns about safety and comfort ranked relatively low.

"Convenient, reliable public transportation can make a difference in people's job satisfaction and productivity because it eliminates a workday stress," said Corona. "It also facilitates their ability to change jobs or work flexible hours, enabling them to react quickly to the needs of business in response to fluctuating economic conditions and employment trends."

Globally, the biggest users of public transportation were in Asia. Indonesia topped the list with 93 percent, followed by Hong Kong (88 percent) and Singapore (86 percent).

The survey sought the views of approximately 70,000 people in 28 countries, including more than 3,000 in the United States.

About Kelly Services

Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA) (NASDAQ: KELYB) is a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Troy, Mich., offering staffing solutions that include temporary staffing services, outsourcing, vendor on-site and full-time placement. Kelly operates in 32 countries and territories. Kelly provides employment to more than 750,000 employees annually, with skills including office services, accounting, engineering, information technology, law, science, marketing, creative services, light industrial, education, and health care. Revenue in 2006 was $5.6 billion. Visit www.kellyservices.com.

Media contact:
Renee Walker
(248) 244-4305

SOURCE: Kelly Services, Inc.