Americans Are Leaving Earlier, Commuting Longer

According to a study published by the Transportation Research Board (TRB), Americans are leaving for work earlier than ever yet are still spending more and more time behind the wheel of their cars during their commutes.

From 1990 to 2000, the average commute time grew from 22.4 minutes to 25.5 minutes, an increase of a little over 12%.  It also appears that the number of people who wish they had to commute 25 minutes only has also drastically increased, as the number of people with an hour or longer commute grew over 50% from 1990 to 2000.

Additionally, the TRB’s study shows that in the midst of much higher gas prices, more people commute to work by themselves and the number of people that walk to and from work has dropped roughly 25% in the last decade.

Much of the blame for increased commuting times can be placed on “urban sprawl” where there are more and more homes being built in the suburbs, which tax the current infrastructure thanks to the fact more and more people are on the road at any given time.  Additionally, the meteoric rise in the value of homes has forced more and more families to move further away from their place of employment.

However, there could be some commuting relief in sight.  With higher energy prices, more and more people have started looking into “solo commuting” alternatives such as public transportation and car pooling.  Also, with the proliferation of high speed internet, more and more people are telecommuting in order to avoid the rush hour mayhem.


  1. […] Original post by Brian Carr and software by Elliott Back […]

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