Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Your Money

America's longest commutes
Census Bureau study reveals the metropolitan areas with the longest average commuting times.
February 26, 2004: 4:38 PM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Between the Giants, the Knicks, and the Fresh Kills landfill, New Yorkers must endure plenty of things that stink. Add this to the list: area residents suffer the nation's longest daily commutes to work.

According to a survey released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau, it takes the average New Yorker 38.4 minutes to get to work. That beats the second-ranked city, Chicago, by more than five minutes. Windy City commuters spend 32.7 minutes.

In fact, New York City's residents spend more time commuting even than those who live in its suburbs.

In the county-by-county rankings, the top four slots go to four of New York's five boroughs. Bronx commuters face a 41.8 minute average commute, followed by Queens (41.4 minutes), Staten Island (41.2 minutes) and Brooklyn (39.9 minutes).

America's longest commutes
Average time spent getting to work, measured in minutes.
City Minutes 
New York 38.4 
Chicago 32.7 
Philadelphia 30.3 
Riverside, Cal. 29.8 
Baltimore 29.7 
Washington, D.C.29.4 
San Francisco 29.2 
Oakland 29.1 
Los Angeles 28.5 
Boston 28.2 
 Source:  U.S. Census Bureau

That's even longer than suburban Nassau County residents, who average a 34.1 minute commute, or the 32.4 minute ride of Monmouth County, N.J. For that matter, the average Bronx worker has a longer commute than the average Angelino -- a typical slog on L.A.'s famous freeways takes only 29.1 minutes.

The survey is intended to be used as a tool in making highway and public transportation planning decisions, according to the Census Bureau.

"Planners and policy-makers have told us that they need these data to develop a local transportation infrastructure," Bureau director Louis Kincannon said in a statement. "Commuting trends are critical as a city decides whether to increase its public transportation or build new roads."  Top of page

For many, the rent is still too damn high
Credit card debt is costing you nearly $1,000 per year
26-year-olds face challenges as they fall off parents' insurance
What this merger is really about: Streaming
What does the end of U.S. net neutrality mean for the world?
Why Britain won't have a trade deal before Brexit

graphic graphic