Unless you’re one of those Americans who works from home or has somehow found a job down the block, odds are you’re spending about 45 minutes a day getting to the office – a commute that costs you about $10 in gas, tolls and parking or for a ticket on mass transit.
Commissioned by financial giant Citi, the new study of commuting finds that Los Angelinos pay the most to get to work, a daily $16, while New Yorkers spend the most time commuting, an average 73 minutes a day.
Not everyone is unhappy about the time they spend getting to work, however. The study reveals that for two-thirds of American workers, their commute is seen as the only time they get to themselves, though others see the trip as a way to talk with friends. That said, most commuters said they try to find ways to be productive on the way to work, whether dialing into conference calls or checking e-mail.
“For the millions of people who commute on a daily basis, the unavoidable costs can have a major impact on household budgets,” noted Chris Fred, an executive at Citi.
A full 60% of those surveyed said their commute has gotten more expensive over the past five years.
At the low end of the spectrum, residents of Chicago and San Francisco spend an average $11 per day on their commute. Among major city residents, those in Los Angeles pay the most, around $16 for the daily round-trip.
A separate study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute recently confirmed that the vast bulk of American workers continue to use the automobile to commute. Even in New York, that’s the preferred means of transportation for 54% of workers, with the figure reaching a high of 98.2% in Fort Worth, Texas, and San Jose, California.
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The Citi study finds that 77% of urban residents drive, with 21% taking buses and ferries, and 17% commuting by subways or trains.
So, not surprisingly, the Citi study shows that gasoline is the biggest part of the transportation budget for most urban American workers, as opposed to tolls and parking – or mass transit.
Miami commuters have, on average, the shortest trips, about 49 minutes. New Yorkers, by comparison, are on the go for 73 minutes a day. In fact, the round-trip commute in most major cities is running about an hour, according to Citi.
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There have been signs of shifting commuting patterns in recent years, and while the automobile still dominates, the Citi study found that 49% of those who don’t already bike to work would take advantage of that option if they had access to a bike sharing program.
The UMTRI study found that 6% of Portland residents now bike to work. In Boston, meanwhile, 14.5% of workers say they walk to the office despite the city’s wicked winters.
The Citi study found that 76% of commuters like to chat with friends or listen to music while commuting. And more than 70% of women commuters said the commute is the only “me” time they get during the day.
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But with American workers under increasing pressure to be productive, a full third of commuters said they use their time on the road to dial into business calls, 25% saying they check e-mail. They also try to squeeze in errands along the way.
2 responses to “Daily Commute Diversifying, But Drivers Still Dominate”
Unfortunately those commuters talking to their friends are talking to their friends on their cellphones while driving creating an accident looking for a place to happen.
I read a report recently that surveyed people’s interest in AVs. Over 50% of woman and 49% of men said they had no interest in AVs what so ever and a large percentage had minimal interest. So contrary to the theory that AVs will replace traditional driven autos in the next 10-20 years is completely unrealistic.