40+ Commute Time Statistics, Facts and Trends [2024]

November 22, 2023 0 Comments

Is commute time eating up your day?

Feeling like you are spending most of your life commuting?

You are not alone!

About 74% of Americans reported commuting to work every day.

Commute Time Statistics proved that the duration of daily commutes is 15 to 29 minutes for 29 % of U.S. respondents. 

Commuting is a  part of our everyday lives. Although Covid forced us to work from home, Commute hours have increased due to the increase in population and traffic post covid.

Let’s grasp the Commute Time Statistics across the globe to clarify if you are really consuming too much time commuting.

Top Commute Statistics: Editor’s Pick

longest average commute time, 77 minutes each way
  1. The world’s longest average commute time, 77 minutes each way, has been counted in Istanbul including both public and shared transportation. [1]
  2. Mexico City observed the second-highest commute time 73 minutes each way. [1]
  3. About 10% of American workers claimed driving at least 2 hours per day to work, in 2019. [2]
  4. The average American commute time is 55 minutes. [2]
  5. 74% of Americans went back to commuting to work after two years of work from home.
  6. New York City has the longest commute time. [3]
  7. 68% of commuters in Great Britain chose the automobile as their mode of transportation
  8. In Bengaluru, the average commute time for car users is seen to be a minimum of one hour. [4]
  9. It is observed that commuting by car takes 85%  less time compared to public transportation in the U.S. [3]
  10. Average work commute time had been increased from 22 minutes in 1990 to 27 minutes in 2020. [5]
  11. Subways have the longest average commute times compared to other means of transportation in the U.S. taking 47 minutes. [10]

Commuting Time Statistics by Population Group

Wondering why your friend in another city is not commuting for hours like you?

Well, commute time varies by population group and location.

Based on gender

Interestingly, Women have more commuting time than men if the distance is small and the time taken is approximately 30 minutes or less. [11]

63.9% of women and 59.0% of men were commuting about 30 minutes or less in 2019. [11]

When the time taken to travel to work is 30 minutes or more, men were seen to commute longer with 36.8% and 31.6 % of women. [11]

87.4% of women worked commuted to the workplace, while the percentage of men is 71.8%. [8]

Based on urbanisation

commute time statistics based on urbanisation
  • 75.9% of workers from rural areas work from their employer’s premises and have to commute daily. [10
  • While the number is 80.3% and 79.7% for workers from cities/towns and suburbs respectively. [10]
  • Hence, Workers living in cities have the longest commuting time.

Average commute time in the US

  • The average commute time in the U.S. is 27.6 minutes each way. [2]
  • New York City has the longest average commute time in the U.S. at 34.7 minutes. [2]
  • Average commute time has increased by 27%, from 21.7 minutes to 27.6 minutes since 1980. [3]
  • An average American commutes 41 miles a day for work. [2]
  • 76.4% of U.S. workers drive alone to work. [3]
  • 74% of Americans commute to work every day. [3]
average commute time in US

Change in Commute Time due to COVID

Before the COVID pandemic, the majority of employed persons mainly worked at employer’s premises. 

In 2019, 9.5% of workers stayed near their clients’ base, and 8.6% at non-fixed locations like cars. Only 2.6% of employed people worked from home. [8]

The pandemic locked us into our homes in 2020. And slowly working from home became a new norm.

26% of Americans were still working from home in 2022 because of comfort. [8]

In May 2023, 15.9 million Canadians, or four in five workers were commuting to work, which is a national-level increase after a big drop during COVID-19. [13]

share of work from home workers

Average Commute Time by Means of Transportation

subways have the longest average commute times

As most people prefer Public transport, it takes more time compared to other means.

Public transport takes 30% to 40% more time than other automobiles. [7]

In the U.S. public transportation takes up to 85% longer than commuting by car. [10]

For instance, the distance covered by car in 25 minutes, takes up to 45 minutes by bus and 47 minutes by subway.

Americans spend one hour driving a car to work each day!

Major metro areas have the shortest commute times of 12 minutes. In contrast, other subways take up to 47 minutes on average. [10]

Means of TransportationAverage Commute Time (in minutes)
Subway47
Bus45
Car 25
Walking/Cycling12

How is Commuting Time Affecting Quality of Life?

Americans spend one hour driving a car to work each day

Long daily commutes can impact your work-life balance. It reduces your leisure time. You end up reaching home tired after work and traveling. 

You have no energy left for your personal care, family time, and entertainment. People often eat junk or packaged food because they are drained. Resulting in poor health. 

The imbalance can lead to physical and mental health issues.

How to save time while commuting?

Here are practical tips and tricks to make the most of your commute time:

  • Try to avoid peak rush hours.
  • Leaving home and work a bit late or early can save you from wasting your time in traffic.
  • Explore ride-sharing, carpooling with colleagues, or travelers with the same destination.
  • Carpooling not only reduces rush on roads but also helps the environment.

Open your book and start reading!

Believe us listening to your favorite music while reading your favorite book when traveling works wonders.

Reasonable Commute Distance 

Commuting or Relocating?’ 

Which is the better option for your new position in the city?

Let’s analyze based on time and distance.

The reasonable commute distance had been opted as strictly less than 50 miles.

Depending on travel conditions like traffic, rush, condition of roads, transportation facilities, and charges.

The ideal time to commute should lie between 5 to 16 minutes. But 30 minutes has also been okayed by many. In contrast, the average commute time in the U.S. is 27.6 minutes each way.

average commute time in the U.S. is 27.6 minutes each way

When to consider relocation?

If it takes too much time to travel and you find yourself traveling, it’s time to relocate for work and education. Also, check out if there are affordable and easily accessible transportation means and the condition of traffic.

Latest Commute Time Statistics Across the World

Do not want to be tied up to a job where you need to travel hours through rush and traffic?

Check out commute time Statistics at your job location before saying yes.

average commute time statistics of major metropolitan areas
  • 38 minutes is the average commuting time in most European Countries. [8]
  • The average commute time in the European Union, as of 2019 is 25 minutes. [12]
  • Asian countries face longer commutes due to overpopulation. [7]
  • London had the longest daily journeys among 390 cities in 2022 across the globe. [9]
  • Top six cities with average travel times per 10 kilometers worldwide in 2022 are:
CityAverage Commute Time
London36 minutes and 2 seconds
New York34 minutes and 7 seconds
Bengaluru29 minutes and 10 seconds
Dublin28 minutes and 30 seconds
Sapporo27 minutes and 40 seconds
Milan27 minutes and 30 seconds

People across the world face challenges in commuting, with New York and London being the top on the list.

Commute Time FAQs

What do you mean by average commute time?

Average commute time is the average duration of time a person takes to travel from home to their workplace. It usually counts one-way time. The average time depends not only on the speed of transport but also on factors like means of transport and traffic.

Which city has recorded the world’s longest commute time in 2023?

The world’s longest average commute time, 77 minutes each way, has been counted in Istanbul including both public and shared transportation in 2023.

What is the average commuting distance in the US?

The average American commute time is 55 minutes. About 10% of American workers claimed driving at least 2 hours per day to work, in 2019. New York has the longest commute time.

How much commuting is reasonable?

The reasonable commute distance had been opted as strictly less than 50 miles.

Depending on travel conditions like traffic, rush, condition of roads, transportation facilities, and charges.

The ideal time to commute should lie between 5 to 16 minutes. But 30 minutes has also been okayed by many. 

Do long commuting journeys affect work-life balance?

Yes, long commuting time negatively affects work-life balance. Long daily commutes can impact your work-life balance. It reduces your leisure time. You end up reaching home tired after work and traveling.

You have no energy left for your personal care, family time, and entertainment. People often eat junk or packaged food because they are drained. Resulting in poor health. The imbalance can lead to physical and mental health issues.

Wrap-Up

No, you are not the only one wasting hours commuting. Commuting is a part of daily life for students and workers. 

Commute time is seen to be increasing due to the increase in world population. Average commute time has increased by 27%, from 21.7 minutes to 27.6 minutes since 1980.

Despite the ideal commute time being between 5 to 16 minutes or a maximum of 30 minutes considered appropriate by many. 

About 10% of American workers claimed driving at least 2 hours per day to work. 

As most people prefer Public transport, it takes 30% to 40% more time compared to other means.

Long daily journeys to work negatively affect work-life balance. 

It reduces your leisure time. By the time you get home, you are drained after work and traveling. You have no energy left for your personal care, family time, and entertainment. 

People often eat junk or packaged food because they are too tired to cook. Resulting in poor health. 

The imbalance can lead to physical and mental health issues. So, maintaining a balance is important. Consider relocating if the commute time is too long.

Sources

  1. Oscar. Cross-City Odyssey: Exploring the World’s Longest Commutes
  2. Statista. Duration of the daily commute in the U.S. 2023
  3. Statista. How Long Do Americans Commute For?
  4. The Hindu. The average commute time for car users in Bengaluru is a minimum of one hour, finds the Personal2Public survey report
  5. National Equity Atlas. Commute time: All workers should have reasonable commutes.
  6. The Geography of Transport Systems. Average Daily Commuting Time, Selected Countries.
  7. Transport Geography. Average Daily Commuting Time
  8. Eurostat. Main place of work and commuting time – statistics
  9. TomTom. Traffic Index
  10.  Census.gov. Who Drives to Work? Commuting by Automobile in the United States.
  11. The Small Bussiness. 20+ Must-Read Average Commute Time Statistics In 2023
  12. The Journal. People in Dublin have the fifth highest commuting times in Europe
  13. Statistics Canada. Commuting to work by car and public transit will grow in 2023

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