The joy of the short commute

Radio still rides shotgun, the radio audience measuring group Arbitron points out in a news release today on the commuting times of people around the country.

That’s good news for radio employees everywhere, given that radio — superior as it is — is no longer the favorite medium in the home. But in cars, we’ve got you.

But not for long, the Minnesota numbers point out.

In fact, one Minnesota/North Dakota radio market — Grand Forks, East Grand Forks — the commute time is only 14 minutes. That puts the market at #275 of the 275 radio markets in the United States.

This is all based on this week’s release of the American Community Survey, which tells us more about our daily lives than we need to know.

But, for the record, the average commuting time in Minneapolis-Saint Paul is now about 24 minutes. Curiously, that’s only increased a little over three minutes in the last 23 years.

Compare that to this claim from a transportation institute in Texas, which I wrote about last month. The study says Twin Cities commuters “waste” an average of 34 hours a year commuting. Broken down, it actually showed the average commute of about 25 minutes.

Although the latter survey had an air of calamity about it, the fact it jibes with the census data reveals that we’ve got it pretty good and things haven’t gotten nearly as bad as we often think they are on the roadways. Especially since we’ve got company on the trip.

As for you, Duluth-Superior, your one-way commute is about 20 minutes now. That’s a 13-percent longer commute than in 1990, almost the same as the Twin Cities. Both trail the increased congestion of Mankato-St. Peter-New Ulm, which has jumped 20 percent since 1990.

  • Ray
  • Kirk W

    I’m not sure why, but commute time seems to be one of those things that everyone lies about.

    They seem to only advertise that one time on a Sunday morning in perfect weather that they got to work in 20 minutes…

  • Kassie

    That’s a cool map. The average commute time from someone who lives in my zip code is 18.3 minutes.

    When calculating commute times, do they only count people who commute by car in that? Does that include bus commutes? Or people who chose to walk when they could get there faster another way?

  • Ray

    Map is displaying average commute times for all modes – drive, transit, bike, walk.

    The survey question asks how many minutes does it usually take to get from home to work. So should reflect AM commute times.

  • Kassie

    That’s sort of weird, but explains why the commute time is pretty high in my zip code, I think. I assume most people in my zip code either walk or take the bus. In the winter it takes me about 12 minutes to get to work, even though it is only 8 blocks. In the summer I can bike in about 4 minutes, not counting the locking and unlocking of my bike, putting on my helmet, and adjusting my clothes time, which is longer than the actual biking time.

  • Xopher

    I have lived next door to my job for the last six years and I can’t recommend it enough. Every time my rent goes up, I consider moving, and then I consider commuting to work, and then I sign another lease.