Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

Cities with the Worst Commutes in America

  • 1/ Sam Valadi // Flickr

    Cities with the Worst Commutes in America

    “Commute” is a dirty word. Commuting affects our physical and psychological well-being, and commutes longer than 31 miles each way can even shorten a person’s lifespan. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American spends over 50 minutes traveling to work and back each day. That is equivalent to more than 18 hours of commuting a month and roughly eight and a half days of a commuting a year. However, as anyone stuck in Atlanta rush hour traffic or the New York City subway at 7 AM will tell you, commuter experiences can vary widely from city to city.

    We used the recently-released 2016 American Community Survey to identify which U.S. cities had the longest median commute times in the nation. Our findings revealed that while the expected heavy-hitters like New York City make the list, it is the suburb-dwellers outside major metro areas who oftentimes suffer the most.

    For our analysis, we focused on urban areas, which is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as densely-populated areas with more than 65,000 people. These urban areas are ranked by the median one-way commute time to help represent the typical commuter. In the event of a tie, the city with a higher percentage of residents with one-way commutes of more than 60 minutes is used to determine which areas have the more frustrating commuter experience.

    We’ll begin our list with the city that has the 50th worst commuter experience and slog our way to the top. Can you take a guess at which cities’ residents spend the most time cursing at their steering wheels?

  • 2/ LancasterCA // WikiCommons

    #50. Lancaster--Palmdale, CA

    • Population: 353,643
    • Median Commute Time: 20 to 24 minutes
    • Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 29%
    • Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Los Angeles, CA
  • 3/ Adam Moss // Flickr

    #49. Lee's Summit, MO

    - Population: 89,812

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 4%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Kansas City, MO

  • 4/ Rusty Clark // Flickr

    #48. Orlando, FL

    - Population: 1,718,406

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 7%

  • 5/ ThomasGilmore // WikiCommons

    #47. Denton--Lewisville, TX

    - Population: 415,255

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 8%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Dallas, TX

  • 6/ Adam Simmons // Flickr

    #46. Dallas--Fort Worth--Arlington, TX

    - Population: 5,690,531

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 8%

  • 7/ Sanibel Sun // WikiCommons

    #45. Cape Coral, FL

    - Population: 614,941

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 8%

  • 8/ Richard Masoner // Flickr

    #44. San Jose, CA

    - Population: 1,788,846

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 9%

  • 9/ Jason Quinn // WikiCommons

    #43. Texas City, TX

    - Population: 119,398

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 10%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Houston, TX

  • 10/ Alejandro Herrera // Flickr

    #42. Miami, FL

    - Population: 5,992,775

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 11%

  • 11/ Scutter // Flickr

    #41. McKinney, TX

    - Population: 230,180

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 11%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Dallas, TX

  • 12/ TexasDarkHorse // Flickr

    #40. Houston, TX

    - Population: 5,607,133

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 11%

  • 13/ Ian Freimuth // Flickr

    #39. Baltimore, MD

    - Population: 2,292,343

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 11%

  • 14/ Nate Lawson // Flickr

    #38. Avondale--Goodyear, AZ

    - Population: 221,256

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 11%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Phoenix, AZ

  • 15/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #37. Aberdeen--Bel Air South--Bel Air North, MD

    - Population: 215,810

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 11%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Baltimore, MD

  • 16/ y-a-n // Flickr

    #36. Urban Honolulu, HI

    - Population: 837,906

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 12%

  • 17/ Peter & Joyce Grace // Flickr

    #35. Simi Valley, CA

    - Population: 127,137

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 12%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Los Angeles, CA.

  • 18/ Canadian Pacific // Flickr

    #34. Seattle, WA

    - Population: 3,387,102

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 12%

  • 19/ Doug Kerr // Flickr

    #33. Pottstown, PA

    - Population: 109,908

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 12%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Philadelphia, PA

  • 20/ 7beachbum // Flickr

    #32. Philadelphia, PA--NJ--DE--MD

    - Population: 5,555,493

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 12%

  • 21/ Luke Jones // Flickr

    #31. Los Angeles--Long Beach--Anaheim, CA

    - Population: 12,615,510

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 13%

  • 22/ SounderBruce // Flickr

    #30. Marysville, WA

    - Population: 156,645

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 14%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Seattle, WA

  • 23/ Daniel Orth // Flickr

    #29. Riverside--San Bernardino, CA

    - Population: 2,073,652

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 17%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Los Angeles, CA

  • 24/ St0rmz // Flickr

    #28. Petaluma, CA

    - Population: 67,123

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 17%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Areas: San Francisco, CA and Oakland, CA

  • 25/ Chris Lewis // Flickr

    #27. Poughkeepsie--Newburgh, NY--NJ

    - Population: 434,846

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 18%

  • 26/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #26. Victorville--Hesperia, CA

    - Population: 340,982

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 23%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Los Angeles, CA

  • 27/ Virginia Department of Transportation // Flickr

    #25. Fredericksburg, VA

    - Population: 157,583

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 26%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Washington, D.C.

  • 28/ Masayuki Kawagishi // Flickr

    #24. Kailua (Honolulu County)--Kaneohe, HI

    - Population: 116,849

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 6%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Honolulu, HI

  • 29/ one.juniper // Flickr

    #23. Kissimmee, FL

    - Population: 361,878

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 8%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Orlando, FL

  • 30/ emosoda // Flickr

    #22. South Lyon--Howell, MI

    - Population: 123,210

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 11%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Detroit, MI

  • 31/ Gabriella Yazickr // Flickr

    #21. Deltona, FL

    - Population: 201,009

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 12%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Orlando, FL

  • 32/ David Wilson // flickr

    #20. Round Lake Beach--McHenry--Grayslake, IL--WI

    - Population: 291,309

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 13%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Chicago, IL

  • 33/ Jimmy Emerson, DVM // Flickr

    #19. Slidell, LA

    - Population: 94,136

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 14%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: New Orleans, LA

  • 34/ Bobby Hidy // Flickr

    #18. San Juan, PR

    - Population: 1,979,626

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 14%

  • 35/ Florent Lamoureux // Flickr

    #17. Chicago, IL--IN

    - Population: 8,660,237

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 14%

  • 36/ JJBers // Flickr

    #16. Boston, MA--NH--RI

    - Population: 4,406,447

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 14%

  • 37/ Brett Weinstei // Flickr

    #15. Atlanta, GA

    - Population: 4,970,669

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 14%

  • 38/ Daniel Hoherd // Flickr

    #14. San Francisco--Oakland, CA

    - Population: 3,529,790

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 15%

  • 39/ YU-WEN 郁文 LIN 林 // Flickr

    #13. Washington, DC--VA--MD

    - Population: 4,983,485

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 16%

  • 40/ Jon Dawson // Flickr

    #12. Westminster--Eldersburg, MD

    - Population: 66,403

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 19%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Baltimore, MD

     

  • 41/ yosoynome // Flickr

    #11. Santa Clarita, CA

    - Population: 266,721

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 21%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Los Angeles, CA

  • 42/ Charlie f // Flickr

    #10. Gilroy--Morgan Hill, CA

    - Population: 110,039

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 21%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: San Jose, CA

  • 43/ Servando Miramontes // Flickr

    #9. Vallejo, CA

    - Population: 175,022

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 22%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Areas: San Francisco, CA and Oakland, CA

  • 44/ Susan Sermoneta // Flickr

    #8. New York--Newark, NY--NJ--CT

    - Population: 18,954,313

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 22%

  • 45/ Joe Wolf // Flickr

    #7. Hemet, CA

    - Population: 184,423

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 23%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Los Angeles, CA

  • 46/ TJ Gehling // flickr

    #6. Concord, CA

    - Population: 666,866

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 23%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: San Francisco, CA

  • 47/ forever_carrie_on Follow // Flickr

    #5. Twin Rivers--Hightstown, NJ

    - Population: 70,902

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 24%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: New York City, NY

  • 48/ Prayitno // Flickr

    #4. Murrieta--Temecula--Menifee, CA

    - Population: 493,787

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 27%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Areas: Los Angeles, CA and San Diego, CA

  • 49/ Larry Eiring // Flickr

    #3. Antioch, CA

    - Population: 304,063

    - Median Commute Time: 35 to 39 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 30%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Areas: San Francisco, CA and Oakland, CA

  • 50/ Shawn Honnick // Flickr

    #2. Waldorf, MD

    - Population: 115,978

    - Median Commute Time: 40 to 44 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 31%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Washington, D.C.

  • 51/ jestrbob // Flickr

    #1. Tracy, CA

    - Population: 92,140

    - Median Commute Time: 45 to 49 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 39%

    - Nearest Major Metropolitan Areas: San Francisco, CA; Oakland, CA; and San Jose, CA

2017 All rights reserved.