Do you have a long commute? If it takes 90 minutes or more in each direction, congratulations, you are part of a cohort known as the "super commuters".
As arduous as this type of daily travel may seem, more and more Americans have been doing it in recent years. Between 2010 and 2019, the number of people making such trips to work increased by 45 percent, while the total workforce grew by only 13 percent, according to a study by Apartment List. As of 2019, 4.6 million people – or 3.1 percent of all U.S. workers – were part of the group.
The pandemic has taken many workers off the streets and completely eliminated their commutes, but the new era of homeworking policy could ultimately produce a lot more super commuters. The latest data examined in the Apartment List study is from 2019, but the study suggests that a wave of full- and part-time supercommuters could emerge as a result of the pandemic migration from urban centers to suburbs and suburbs, if the offices will be reopened.
Or maybe not. Surprisingly, it turned out that the distance from the workplace was not the determining factor for a long commute; About half of the super commuters lived within 30 miles of work. In addition, people using public transport were five times more likely to be supercommuters than drivers. Both statistics point to traffic and inadequate public transport services and infrastructure as strong factors.
The country's largest and most expensive metropolitan areas – New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco – make up about a third of all those who commute long distances. Stockton, California, about 80 miles east of San Francisco, was found to have the highest rate of supercommuters, and three of the 10 subways with the highest rates were also satellites from San Francisco.
This week's graph shows the 10 metros with the highest rates of supercommuters, how much they grew on each metro from 2010 to 2019, and how that growth compares to overall workforce growth.