The number of American workers working from home – particularly those in white collar jobs – skyrocketed during the pandemic. The shift has proved to be a positive development in some ways. A recent Gallup study found that over 90% of remote workers hope that the trend continues after the pandemic, citing the lack of commute time as the chief benefit.
Still, for a large share of the workforce, remote work is not an option. Gallup reports that 55% full-time employees in the United States do not work remotely – and commute time still makes up a significant portion of their day. (Here is a look at the state where the most people are working from home.)
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average commute time in the United States is 26.9 minutes. For those who travel to and from work every Monday through Friday, this translates to about 4.5 hours per week, or nearly 10 days a year.
Of course, commute times vary from person to person, but in some parts of the country, workers who are still commuting tend to have far less travel time than others. Using census data, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 metropolitan areas with the shortest commutes.
In every metro area on this list, average commute times are less than 20 minutes. This adds up to only about three hours per week, and in most cases less than seven days per year.
The largest share of metro areas on this list are in the Midwest, and only one is in the Northeast. In most of these metro areas the share of commuters driving themselves to and from work is higher than the 74.9% national average, and the share of commuters using public transit is below the 4.6% national average. In most cases, public transportation is less direct than simply driving from door to door, adding to overall commute time. Here is a look at the cities where people lose the most time driving each year.
Click here to see the metros with the shortest commutes
Click here to see our detailed methodology
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