Special Report

Metros With the Longest Commutes

The share of Americans working from home skyrocketed during the pandemic. A recent Gallup study found that 45% of full-time workers in the United States – and two-thirds of white-collar workers – were doing their job remotely at least some of the time.

The shift is proving to be a positive development for millions of Americans. Gallup reports that over 90% of remote workers hope that the trend continues after the pandemic, citing the lack of commute time as the chief benefit. (Here is a look at the state where the most people are working from home.)

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average commute time in the United States is 26.9 minutes. For those who have shifted to full-time remote work, this translates to about 4.5 hours per week, or nearly 10 days a year, of time that they did not have before.

Of course, commute times vary from person to person, but in some parts of the country, workers are far more likely to have longer commutes than in others. Using census data, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 metropolitan areas with the longest commutes. 

Among the metro areas on this list, average commute times range from 27.2 minutes up to 40 minutes. Over the course of a week, these commute times add up, from nearly five hours to well over six – and to 10 days to over two weeks over the course of a year for those who commute every Monday through Friday. 

Several metro areas on this list, including Boston, New York, and Washington D.C., have reliable public transportation systems, and the share of workers commuting with public transit far exceeds the 4.6% national average. In most cases, public transportation is less direct than simply driving from door to door, adding to overall commute time. 

Additionally, many cities on this list, including some of those with high public transit usage rates, are notorious for traffic congestion that adds to commute time. These include Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Here is a look at the cities where people lose the most time driving each year.

Click here to see the metros with the longest commutes
Click here to see our detailed methodology

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