The Best US Cities for Commuters
Life + Money

The Best US Cities for Commuters

© Yves Herman / Reuters

As the job market continues to improve, it’s taking longer for Americans to get to the office each day.

The average commute time has been inching up since 2009, according to the real estate website Trulia. Commute times in the country’s 50 largest cities averaged 27.2 minutes in 2014, up from 26.4 minutes in 2009.

Slideshow: 10 Best Cities for Commuters

The amount of time it takes you to get to work, however, varies depending on where you live. While bigger cities offer more public transportation options, smaller metros tend to have the shortest commute times thanks to lower population density and less congested roads.

A recent analysis by Trulia found that workers in Buffalo, New York, have the shortest commute time, spending just 20.3 minutes getting to work each day. Columbus, Ohio, has the second-lowest commute time (21.8 minutes), followed by Hartford, Connecticut (22.3 minutes).

At the other end of the spectrum, New York City residents have the longest commutes (34.7 minutes), followed by their neighbors in Long Island (33 minutes). Washington, D.C. residents have the third longest commutes on average (32.8 minutes), according to Trulia.

Those minutes matter. Short commute time or proximity to public transportation was the second-most important factor considered by Americans when deciding where to rent or buy a home, according to a Trulia study. (The most important factor was safety).
Perhaps due to the type of housing available in city centers, the Trulia study found that renters generally had shorter commute times than homeowners, although the commute time for both is rising.

Click here to see the 10 best cities in the U.S. for commuters.