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Your Take: How Long Is Your Commute?

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Miniature GridlockCNN Money played with the 2008 Census data released on Monday and discovered that the nationwide average commute is 25.5 minutes. If you work five days a week and fifty weeks a year, that’s 12,750 minutes spent in the car. For the math whizzes out there, that’s 212.5 hours or 8.85 days.

The average American spend over a week sitting in his or her car driving to or from work. It’s no wonder driving is more dangerous than flying, we spent over a week in the car just getting to and from work. This doesn’t count the time we spend on vacation, going out, whatever.

The longest commute belonged to citizens of East Stroudsburg, PA where many of the residents commute the 60 miles to work in NYC, spending 40.6 minutes a trip. The shortest belonged to folks of Grand Forks, ND where the average commute was a scant 14.3 minutes each way.

When I used to drive to work, mine was about 25 minutes to the home office each way. At one point I supported a client around the Washington DC area and my commute ranged anywhere from 45 minutes to several hours if the weather or traffic wasn’t cooperative. I passed the time listening to some audiobooks, sports talk radio, and/or NPR shows.

How long is your commute? And what do you use to kill the time?

(Photo: ethandb)

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71 Responses to “Your Take: How Long Is Your Commute?”

  1. Tom says:

    About 1:55 each way. Drive 10.5 miles to the train station. Take the train to Hoboken, NJ and then the light rail to my office in Jersey City…I read a lot – about 1 book a week. Sometimes I doze off on the way home – not something I would recommend if you drive!

  2. finco86 says:

    15-45 minutes in the AM and 20-60 in the PM depending on the time I leave and the weather. This is only 11 miles away. Some days it is 0 because I can work from home. Actually the commute has gotten a lot better since the road work in Denver was finished a few years ago.

  3. Caitlin says:

    My commute is 20-25 minutes depending on traffic. Of that, I spend at least 8-11 minutes waiting for traffic lights (and I use the main artery through town!).

  4. Greg says:

    For nearly twenty years in two different states I had commutes of 50 – 60 miles and up to two hours. I had become de-synthesized.

    With my last relocation I purchased a house that is 2.2 miles from the office. I had no idea until now how much the drive was sucking from my work/life balance.

    I see my wife for lunch and home and save money by not going out, save gas not driving and save brain cells by not getting ticked off!

    After this experience, I will never commute again!

    It is just one more step to eliminating the muda!

  5. Bucksome says:

    After 13 years of a ever-lengthening commute (due to increasing traffic) I gave up my 45-60 minute, 23 mile commute and moved 3 miles away from the office two years ago.

    It’s been a life-changing event; I’m so much happier and productive at home now.

  6. Shadox says:

    My commute is about 15 minutes each way. Moving to our new home in a couple of months, my commute will remain about the same. Some of my colleagues commute for over an hour each way! They say they need to do so for the quality of life they get for living out in some of the remote bay area suburbs. My take: 10 hours of lost time PER WEEK is no quality of life. I am not even talking about the cost of gas, car maintenance and environmental impact.

  7. Leah says:

    Currently, not one minute of my commute is spent driving in a car, but my 75+-minute commute twice a day is still ungodly long. Just ran the numbers, and I spend 26.04 *days* commuting.

    Yep, I pretty much spend the entire month of February in transit to/from work.

  8. cmarnold says:

    90 mins each way. 45 miles. 2nd shortest commute of my life. NPR, conference calls, coffee – the fillers of time.

  9. jim says:

    My commute is about 5-10 minutes each way.

  10. Takes me about 15 minutes by the express bus to downtown San Francisco! Average wait for the bus is around 5 minutes, so 20 min total. The good thing is, the bus stop is only one blog away, and drops me off right at work.

    Public transportation rocks!

  11. CJ says:

    Live in Seattle….
    15 min. drive, 60 min. ferry ride, then 5 min. drive = 80 min.
    It’s really a temporary fix, until we save enough for a house where we really want to live.

  12. CJ says:

    “commute the 60 miles to work in NYC, spending 40.6 minutes a trip.”

    That works out to an average of 90 mph…for real???

  13. daemondust says:

    I have a nice leisurely fifteen minute walk to work, which is actually shorter than all but one coworker’s drive, depending on traffic. And yes, I did pick my current housing based partly on being able to walk.

  14. Damon Day says:

    I made the decision years ago to have a home office so that I could be around as much as possible to participate and enjoy my kids growing up. With the technology today I can pretty much work where ever I want to. Even rolling down the freeway at 70 mph surfing the internet on my net book with a built in wireless card. (That would be only if I was riding shotgun, of course :-)

  15. Dain says:

    65 miles 1 hour 7 minutes


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