The Bay Area has the #5 Worst Average Commute in the US
American commutes are getting longer, with a U.S. Census Bureau report released in 2021 revealing the average one-way commute in 2019 reached a record high of 27.6 minutes. Combined with record-high gas prices, workers’ daily commutes are increasingly time-consuming and expensive—so much so that some are calling for commutes to count as part of the workday.
Even worse are travel times for “super commuters”—that unlucky 10% of Americans traveling more than one hour each way to punch a clock.
The longest commute times in the country can predictably be found around East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, the New York City metro area, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, Virginia, and the Bay Area, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey.
– Average commute: 34.1 minutes
— Workers with a 1+ hour commute: 17.7%
– Workers who drive to work: 64.6%
— Workers who carpool to work: 9.2%
– Workers who take public transportation to work: 16%
– Workers who work from home: 11%
– Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 10.7%
– Worked outside county of residence: 60.77%
Metros with the worst average commute
#1. East Stroudsburg, PA: 40 minutes
#2. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA: 37 minutes
#3. Stockton, CA: 35.2 minutes
#4. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV: 34.8 minutes
#5. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA: 34.1 minutes
Metros with the best average commute
#1. Grand Forks, ND-MN: 15.7 minutes
#2. Walla Walla, WA: 15.8 minutes
#3. Dubuque, IA: 16.4 minutes
#4. Cheyenne, WY: 16.4 minutes
#5. Great Falls, MT: 16.5 minutes