commuting: Ha-haw!

The Examiner’s top story today is: D.C. maintains rank as nation’s second-longest commute. It took me a little while to find it online since a search for “DC second commute time” easily brought up both this story and this video from 2006, and this story from 2007 before I could drill down to find today’s.

I’ve talked to friends that drive in Atlanta, New York and Chicago and they’d probably be inclined to agree… or disagree in that those numbers below seem awfully small. I know my metro commute has fluctuated between 15 mins to an hour depending on where I’ve lived, but any drivers want to weigh in on this? I feel like that time in the DC area is especially skewed low by those that drive and don’t have to.

Rank Area Commute
(in minutes)
1 New York 34.8
2 Washington 33.4
3 Chicago 31
4 Atlanta 30.7
5 Riverside/
San Bernadino
6 Baltimore 29.0

One of my co-workers turned his back on his metro commute a while back and assuming he misses rush hour, takes maybe about 10-15 minutes to drive from Arlington to SE DC, but I’m thinking that’s a rarity. Or maybe not, I don’t know anyone in/around DC that has a really long drive in from the burbs or out to them. I know when I drove from Mt. Pleasant out to Greenbelt every day, it was not a short commute, I was always stuck in traffic and if you’d said the average commute was about 34 minutes, I’d have laughed in your face. But that was quite some time ago.

Still, seeing Atlanta ranking #4 right now is kinda freaky since they’re still running out of gas, or at least shaky with the renewed supplies. This opinion piece from the CEO of an Atlanta petroleum company is sort of poking at habits and the necessity for special fuel, but then he admits that he still drives his SUV back and forth every day. Craziness.

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6 Responses

  1. See, I don’t know how Boston manages to stay off of this list. I lived there for almost five years and it was god awful. I would wait 25 to 30 minutes for a train almost daily. Buses were late if they bothered to show up at all. My commute in DC has been amazing, and I’m crossing from SE (Potomac Avenue) to NW (West End). I can take the bus or take the metro, and it’s never a problem.

    Maybe I’m just lucky?

  2. brian says:

    @Liz: I think they were focusing on car travel, which is no longer relevant for me. Heck, I don’t even know anyone that drives to work everyday anymore.

  3. The only people I know who drive into DC for commuting don’t really have problems either. In fact I’m one of the FEW in my office who actually live in DC. It’s strange.

    But yea, driving into a city is just asking for it. What do people expect, really?

  4. pyack says:

    my commute, almost 30 seconds in duration, is absolutely unbearable. Someone needs to carry me downstairs to my office. I’ve had enough.

  5. kyle says:

    @pyack – Al doesn’t carry you downstairs?! But he’s so muscular and brown.

  6. shindo says:

    I’m surprise that Los Angeles didn’t make the top five. The I-5 is a nightmare. The I-10 is saner, but still crazy. Although, LA contributes a great deal to the Riverside/San Bernadino commute times. The towns in those counties have long been bedroom communities to LA and to a lesser extent San Diego.

    After posting that and seeing the other cities, I don’t think I can complain about San Diego, which still has crazy commute problems.

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