Who Has the Longest Commute to Work?

Jul 02

angry driverThink your commute is bad?  Well, get you morning coffee and doughnuts ready (or bagel if you want to go healthy), because here are the latest stats from the U.S. Census Bureau on how we get to work.[i]

Before we hand out awards for the metro areas with the longest and shortest commutes, let’s do a rundown of the basic commuter stats from across the U.S.:

Most common way to get to work:  Car, truck, or van

No wonder our roadways are so crowded!  Out of 138.6 million people polled, 119.4 drove themselves to work.  That means that 86% of workers polled in the United States drove to work!  Of that number, 76% (105.5 million people) drove alone.  Public transportation ranked a distant second at 6.9 million people (or just 5%).

Worst Time to Commute to Work:  7:00 a.m. to 7:59 a.m.

If you happen to hop in your car during this time, you’re in good company.  A bit less than one third of all people leave for work during this timeframe (37.2 million people).

So what’s the best time to leave for work?  Between 11:00 a.m. to 11:59 a.m. when only 1% of the workforce is commuting.  But really, who has a job that starts at noon?!

(I know, 7:59 a.m. and 11:59 a.m. are wacky cutoffs, but don’t blame me; it’s those fun-loving dudes at the U.S. Census Bureau that determine this stuff.)

Most Common Commute Time: 15-19 minutes

This seems a little unbelievable to me (maybe that’s because I live in Los Angeles), but the most common commute time is 15 to 19 minutes, bad trafficwhich accounted for 15% of the workers polled.  Honestly, where are these people commuting from?  Do they live next to their work?  Maybe they just work from home and have to walk over to their desk after brushing their teeth.  I think it takes me 15 minutes just to get to the freeway entrance!

Of course, all of this is a little bit skewed because the survey asked people in four minute increments how long it took them to get to work (10-14 minutes, 15-19 minutes, 20-24 minutes, etc).  When you look at the stats in larger time blocks, a third of all people took 30 minutes or more to get to work.

And the Award for the Longest Average Commute Goes To…

Drum roll please…here we go- ya’ ready?  The metro area with the longest commute is… The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island Area!  If you live in this area, you can join the ranks of the proud proletariat who average 34.6 minutes in getting to work.  I really bad driving daythought that with the gridlock, high population density, and constant road construction,  Los Angeles would be somewhere in the top ten, but it doesn’t even make the list (however, the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA area does clock-in at the number eight spot with an average commute time of 30 minutes).

So where is the best metro area to commute to work in?  Great Falls, Montana with a population of just under 60,000 people, and a commute time of less than fifteen minutes.  Must be nice living in “Big Sky Country”!

If you’re curious about the other metro areas with the longest and shortest commutes check out the following charts:

 

U.S. Census Bureau: Metro Areas With the 10 Longest Commutes[ii]

Rank

Metro Area

Average travel time to work in minutes

1

New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA.

34.6

2

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV.

33.4

3

Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY.

32.2

4

Bremerton-Silverdale, WA.

30.8

5

Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI3 .

30.7

6

Winchester, VA-WV.

30.3

7

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA.

30.1

8

Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA.

30

9

Stockton, CA.

29.8

10

Baltimore-Towson, MD.

29.7

 

U.S. Census Bureau: Metro Areas With the 10 Shortest Commutes[iii]

Rank

Metro Area

Average travel time to work in minutes

1

Great Falls, MT.

14.2

2

Lewiston, ID-WA.

14.7

3

Grand Forks, ND-MN.

15.1

4

Lubbock, TX.

15.5

5

Missoula, MT.

15.8

6

San Angelo, TX.

15.9

7

Cheyenne, WY.

15.9

8

Midland, TX.

16

9

Lawton, OK.

16

10

Decatur, IL.

16.5

 ************************************************************************************

more bad trafficHaving a long commute getting to work is bad, but getting a ticket when you’re speeding home is even worse.  If you do end up with a traffic ticket, and you’re able to get it dismissed or reduced by taking traffic school, consider taking your courses online.  With The On-Line Traffic School, Inc. you get the convenience and flexibility of taking your classes online anytime you want!  Instead of scheduling hours of your precious weekend time, or sitting in a dusty classroom listening to a boring instructor drone on about traffic laws after a long day at work, you can take the course anytime you have access to a computer or a smartphone and an Internet connection!  It’s fast, simple and easy.

To find out more, visit:  The On-Line Traffic School, Inc.



[i] McKenzie, Brian & Rapino, Melanie.  (September 2011).  Commuting in theUnited States: 2009.  United States Census Bureau.  Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/acs-15.pdf

[ii] McKenzie, Brian & Rapino, Melanie.  (September 2011).  Commuting in theUnited States: 2009.  United States Census Bureau.  Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/acs-15.pdf

[iii] McKenzie, Brian & Rapino, Melanie.  (September 2011).  Commuting in theUnited States: 2009.  United States Census Bureau.  Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/acs-15.pdf

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>