What Commute Times Look Like Across America

It's 8:30 a.m., and the streets are filled with noisy cars trying to get to their destinations. Public transit trains are jammed packed, and everyone seems to be in a rush. These are normal mornings for the average working American in metropolitan areas across the country. Some may have to wake up an extra 30 minutes or even an hour early to get to work on time because of a hectic commute. 

The United States Census Bureau has released new data about the average travel time to work based off the 2018 Community Survey. The survey considered commute times for those who travel by road vehicles (either alone or carpool), public transportation, by foot, and other means. 

From the findings, the Census Bureau estimated it takes Americans an average of 27.1 minutes to get to work. But is there a difference between commute times in different parts of the country? Here are the average travel times in 26 metro areas across the U.S.  

Atlanta, Georgia: 32.5 minutes

Not only is this city known for its busy airport, Atlanta is home to a hectic morning commute. The average travel time is 32.5 minutes in the Peach State's capital.

Baltimore, Maryland: 31.8 minutes

As citizens of the most populous city in Maryland, Baltimore residents face a busy commute. The major Maryland metro has an average travel time of 31.8 minutes.

Boston, Massachusetts: 32.2 minutes

Boston is known for its revolutionary history, but it's hard to make history while waiting in traffic. This Commonwealth State's metro has an average commute time of 32.2 minutes.

Charlotte, North Carolina: 27.4 minutes

People in the home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame won't be speeding down the roads with an average travel time of 27.4 minutes.

Chicago, Illinois: 32.2 minutes

The Windy City could use an extra gust of wind to help move traffic along, as its average travel time is 32.2 minutes.

Cincinnati, Ohio: 24.9 minutes

Compared to most metros on this list, Cincinnati comes with a slightly easier commute to work. This Midwestern city's average travel time is 24.9 minutes.

Dallas, Texas: 28.5 minutes

You should be prepared to fight traffic on your way to work if you live in this Texas city. The travel time to work averages 28.5 minutes.

Denver, Colorado: 28 minutes

It's a not-so-rocky morning near the Rockies with the average commute in Denver clocking in at 28 minutes.

Detroit, Michigan: 27.3 minutes

In a city known for its auto industry, employees in the Detroit area won't have too much trouble motoring their way to work with an average commute of 27.3 minutes.

Hartford, Connecticut: 24.5 minutes

The commuters around Connecticut's capital will even have time for that Dunkin' stop with an average of 24.5 minutes to work.

Houston, Texas: 30.0 minutes

Don't let your mind float off to space while in Houston traffic. Residents face an average commute of 30 minutes.

Los Angeles, California: 31.3 minutes

The hustle and bustle of Hollywood contributes to an average travel time of 31.3 minutes in the City of Angels.

Miami, Florida: 30.5 minutes

With an average commute of 30.5 minutes in this South Florida city, you might have time to admire the colorful streets of Miami while sitting in traffic.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin: 23.0 minutes

It's smooth sailing for those in the Lake Michigan shore city of Milwaukee. The average travel time to work is 23 minutes.

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota: 25.5 minutes

Traveling to work between the Twin Cities won't be a stressful ride. The average commute is 25.5 minutes.

New Orleans, Louisiana: 26.5 minutes

The cheerful residents of New Orleans can start a Second Line parade for their average traveling time of 26.5 minutes.

New York City, New York: 37.6 minutes

The "city that never sleeps" has the highest average travel time on this list at 37.6 minutes.

Orlando, Florida: 29.0 minutes

A trip to Walt Disney World might be a dream come true, but Orlando traffic can be more like a nightmare. The home of theme parks has an average travel time to work of 29 minutes.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 30.5 minutes

Considering Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania, it's no wonder that the travel time to work averages 30.5 minutes.

Phoenix, Arizona: 26.7 minutes

No one wants to get caught in traffic in the Valley of the Sun. Luckily, commute times average 26.7 minutes, which will leave you only half-melted. 

Portland, Oregon: 26.9 minutes

The commute isn't too rosy in the City of Roses. The average commute to work for residents in the Portland metro area is just shy of 27 minutes. 

San Francisco, California: 34.7 minutes

Californians living in the Bay Area can expect an average commute of 34.7 minutes, but at least there are those Pacific Ocean views to admire.

Seattle, Washington: 31.6 minutes

Amazon may provide fast shipping, but traffic in its home city of Seattle slows the average commute to 31.6 minutes.

St. Louis, Missouri: 26.2 minutes

Traffic will seem to be flowing like the Mississippi River in St. Louis, where the average commute to work is 26.2 minutes.

Topeka, Kansas: 21.2 minutes

Topeka has the lowest average commute time on this list at 21.2 minutes, meaning residents of Kansas' capital city get an extra couple of minutes to sleep.

Washington, DC: 34.9 minutes

A lot happens in our country's capital, so it's no surprise that traffic may be backed up a bit. The home of the White House has an average travel time of 34.9 minutes. We know waking up early to get to work on time can be miserable for some people, but here are tips and tricks to becoming a morning person.