N.Y. City tops list of nations longest
commutes; Wichita has shortest
The Associated Press
When it comes to commuting times, no city tops the Big Apple,
according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
The average New York City resident spends 38 minutes getting
to work, nearly six minutes more than the typical Chicagoan,
the bureau said in a new report. Philadelphia, Riverside,
Calif., and Baltimore rounded out the top five cities with
250,000 or more people.
national average is 24-plus minutes, about two minutes more
than in 1990.
Among states, New York was first, with a typical commuting
time of 31 minutes, followed by Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois
The New York metropolitan area has one of the most comprehensive
and heavily used mass transit networks in the nation. City
residents may take a little longer to get to work by subway
than people who drive from their homes to suburban office
But what you lose in travel time, you make up for by
being able to read a newspaper, said New York City resident
Gene Russianoff, a staff attorney for the New York Public
Interest Research Groups Straphangers Campaign, an advocacy
group for city subway and bus riders. By and large,
its lower stress.
The shortest commutes can be found in Wichita, Kan. (16.5
minutes), Tulsa, Okla. (16.8 minutes) and Omaha, Neb. (17.3
More people are driving to work alone about 77 percent
in 2002, up from 73 percent in 1990, Census Bureau demographer
Phil Salopek said.
Suburbs are pushing farther out from downtown hubs, attracting
families looking for cheaper or bigger homes. More people
are also commuting to sprawling office parks, which are often
so far outside central cities that they arent accessible
by mass transit.
The increased traffic has put an even greater chokehold on
roads, according to a report released last week that was commissioned
by the American Highway Users Alliance. That study found that
the number of U.S. traffic bottlenecks places where
highways cant handle all the cars rose 40 percent
over five years to 233 in 2002.
The census figures are from a comprehensive 2002 bureau survey
and cover the one-way commuting time for workers 16 and older.