Post-Recession, 'Super Commuters' Increasing in Number

The number of "super commuters"—people who commute for over 90 minutes—is still a relatively small percentage of the country, but it's a number that's growing quickly. What does that mean about the economy?
June 7, 2017, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Donald Rogers

"The number of commuters who travel 90 minutes or more to get to work increased sharply between 2010 and 2015," reports Tim Henderson.

In all but 10 states, the number of “super commuters” increased over the period, and in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, North Dakota and Rhode Island, it grew by more than 40 percent, according to census data. The growth came amid an overall increase in the number of commuters as the economy improved, but the increase in the number of people with the longest rides, 23 percent, was almost three times the increase in the number of those with shorter commutes, close to 8 percent.

For some insight into the data, Henderson speaks with Mitchell Moss, an urban policy professor at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, Panos Prevedouros, a traffic engineering professor at the University of Hawaii, and David Kack, a program manager for the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University. Among the culprits for the book in super commutes identified by these sources: the high cost of housing near urban job centers, the rise of telecommuting, and the slow, tenuous recovery from the Great Recession. 

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Published on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 in Governing
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