Average Commute Times for Metro Areas

Commute times vary not only by where a person works, but also by their chosen mode of transportation.

On average, the latest Census suggest Americans who drive alone spend an average of nearly 25 minutes traveling to work. The national average for bus commuters is 45 minutes, while those who ride subways or streetcars spend an average of 47 minutes traveling to work. For those who primarily walk to work, commute times average only 12 minutes.

In most metro areas, commute times for public transportation riders are roughly double that of those who drive. Select a metro area to see how commute times for different modes of transportation compare:

About the Data

The Census Bureau reports data on commutes for all workers age 16 and over. Commuters are classified into a single category corresponding to the primary mode of transportation accounting for the longest distance traveled to work. Those walk to subway stations, for example, are considered subway commuters. Commute times reflect total time traveled using all modes of travel used to get to work. They do not account for distance traveled. In some metro areas, a small number of survey respondents reported utilizing subways, commuter rail or other systems that do not exist in those areas.

More from Transportation / Infrastructure