D.C. Area Has Nation's Second-Longest Commute, Census Study Says

Tuesday, Mar 5, 2013  |  Updated 8:36 AM EDT
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Three-quarters of people who work in the District live outside of it. New census data offers some frustrating facts on commuting in the region.

Tony Tull

Three-quarters of people who work in the District live outside of it. New census data offers some frustrating facts on commuting in the region.

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New data from the Census Bureau shows that the D.C. area has the nation's second-worst commute.

The Census report Tuesday comes a month after a respected report from the Texas Transportation Institute ranked the D.C. area as having the nation's worst traffic.

Tuesday's Census report lists the average one-way commute in 2011 for the region at 34.5 minutes -- and that's growing by two minutes every year.

The greater New York area had the nation's longest commute at 34.9 minutes. The national average is 25.5 minutes.

Three out of four people who work in the District live outside of it. And more than a quarter of those have one-way commutes of an hour or more.

The average mega-commuter is most likely to be a man who leaves work before 6 a.m., has a slightly higher salary than the average, and has a stay-at-home spouse. His average commute is an hour and a half, and greater than 50 miles.

The report found a strong correlation between long commute times and a region's reliance on public transportation.

About 40 percent of D.C. commuters use public transportation, putting the region only behind New York-area commuters at 59 percent.

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