New Yorkers Have Longest Commutes But They Can Sleep En Route

According to the Census Bureau, residents of the New York area have the nation’s longest commutes, with the average trip taking about 35 minutes. However, New York also ranks highest in usage of public transportation, so a lot of those people can catch some rest on the way to and from work.

Over 85% of commuters drive to work, and most of those go solo, according to the Census Bureau report, which is based on data for 2009. Nationwide, just 5% use public transportation, compared to more than 30% in New York.

The metropolitan areas with the longest commutes:

  1. New York/Northern New Jersey/Long Island: 34.6 minutes
  2. Washington/Arlington/Alexandria: 33.4 minutes
  3. Poughkeepsie/Newburgh/Middletown (NY): 32.2 minutes
  4. Bremerton/Silverdale (WA): 30.8 minutes
  5. Chicago/Naperville/Joliet: 30.7 minutes

The shortest commute for a metropolitan area belonged to Great Falls, MT, which clocked in at 14.2 minutes. The national average is about 25 minutes, up from about 22 minutes in 1980.

Commuting in the United States: 2009 [Census Bureau PDF]