Cities Journal

These U.S. Cities Come With Killer Commutes


Due to a specific way American cities and especially large metro areas are designed, a vast majority of Americans have to travel quite a bit to get to their workplace, often covering tens of miles to make it to the office. In many parts of the world this is a nonexistent concept, but in this country, the average person will commute around 25 minutes to work and another 25 coming home.

Of course, not all cities demand the same type of commute from their residents and some American cities are particularly difficult in this regard. In many metro areas, even a short commute may mean relatively large portions of the day lost in traffic.

Business Insider took a long, hard look at the data from the US Census Bureau and they identified 20 cities in the United States which have the most demanding commute and they ranked them according to the average time people spend traveling to work, in one direction. They also looked at the ways in which residents of those cities commute, i.e. whether they prefer to commute alone, carpool or do something else. Most of these cities are expected, but some of them are quite a surprise.

In the 20th spot is Bridgeport, Connecticut, a city with the population of 144,229 and once a budding industrial center. The average commute in Bridgeport is 27 minutes long and its residents prefer to drive alone. In the 18th spot, you will find two Californian cities – San Bernardino and Chula Vista. If you happen to live in either of these two cities, you can expect to lose 27.1 minutes in commute in one way each day. In both these cities, traveling alone is the preferred commuting method.

The 16th spot is also shared by two cities. One of them is again a Californian city, Anaheim, while the other is Garland, Texas. Both these cities will ask for 27.6 minutes of your day to get to work and another 27.6 to drive back home. Aurora, Colorado is the 15th city on the list, bordering with Denver which is probably why the commute is so long. A large number of its residents probably work in Denver and that is why they need 28.8 minutes on average to get to work.

In spot No. 14, we find Long Beach, California, a gorgeous city that will still take 29 minutes in one direction every day for you to get to work. Once again, we find two Californian cities sharing the 12th spot. One of them is Riverside and the other is Oakland. You will need on average 29.2 minutes of commute in each direction. In the 11th spot, we find Boston, Massachusetts where it will take you 29.4 minutes on average to get to work and where people prefer to drive alone, although they are not against using public transport either.

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Somewhat surprising is that Los Angeles only made it to 10th spot on the list, but it did. With the average commute time of 29.6 minutes, it came in tenth and we have to say we are also surprised by the fact that public transport is more popular than carpooling in car-centric LA. The 9th city on the list is Washington, DC where it will take you 29.8 minutes on average to find your way to work. In Washington, people prefer to use public transport, followed by driving alone and then walking.

In the 8th spot is Baltimore, Maryland, the first city where the average commute breaks the 30-minute barrier. More precisely, it will take you 30.1 minutes to get to work in Charm City. Fremont, California is the 7th city on the list and it will require 30.5 minutes of your time every day if you wish to live and work in it. In spot No.6 is San Francisco with the average commute of 31 minutes. People of San Fran prefer to drive alone to work, but they are also not avert to public transport or even walking.

The fifth spot is reserved for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the 32.2 minutes you will need to get to work. Chicago, Illinois is in the 4th spot with the average commute time of 33.7 minutes. Residents of Chicago prefer to drive alone to work, but they also don’t mind using public transport.

In the 3rd place, we find Newark, New Jersey where people have to set aside on average 33.9 minutes to get to work. Another New Jersey city is in the second spot – Jersey City with the average commute of 35.6 minutes. You have probably already guessed the American city with the longest commute and yes, it is New York City. So, how much does it take to get to work in the Big Apple? 39.4 minutes.

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