NYC has longest commute times to work

I hope we are not surprised to find out that New York City has the longest average weekly commute amongst major citiesScreen Shot 2015-03-18 at 6.19.58 PM across the United States. Even Los Angeles -famed for gridlock on major expressways – is much farther down on the list. As you can see from the table here, the average New York worker spends 6 hours and 18 minutes on some form of transit to and from work. This adds a significant burden to those who work in this city. It might be surmised that with longer commute times come fewer work hours but there seems to be a positive correlation between the two – the more you work, the longer your commute.

A student just left the school I work at, citing economic hardship as one of the reasons. Apparently, it was not possible for him and his family to make enough money to live in the way they want to in New York City. I wonder if commute time had anything to do with it.

I count myself lucky: I bike to work and it takes me 12 minutes one-way. When it rains, I take the subway and it’s about 25 minutes. I can’t imagine what it is like to have some of the commute times of my friends: sometimes an hour or more each way. One could make the argument that they like reading during that time, but it is never as comfortable as one would like.

I wonder if it’s possible to have more sensible commute times in a city that never sleeps…

The MTA proposes fare increases

Travel comes in all shapes and sizes but one of the biggest issues for New Yorkers is commute time to and from work. I have been extremely lucky to both live and work in Brooklyn (in nearby neighborhoods, no less) so my commute is usually a 12-minute bike ride. Unfortunately, the average commute time in the city is 48 minutes, according to the New York Daily News – 13 minutes above the national average. In my former city of Philadelphia I remember being miffed if I have to spend  more than 30 minutes to get somewhere. In New York, it is commonplace to go out to dinner somewhere and spend an hour or more in transit to and from.

It is understandable, then, that the Metropolitan Transit Authority is getting much flak from their proposed fare increases for the near future. A variety of plans have been put on the table, including simply eliminating purchase bonuses, increasing the fares to $2.75, and more. At meetings in the Bronx and Manhattan, residents expressed their thoughts in colorful and firm language.

The nice thought is that the MTA is not increasing the fares more than the standard rate of inflation – 2%.

Perhaps with this additional revenue they will continue improving service like they did with the G train this past year. Maybe they will rid the N train of the unfortunate bedbugs that seem to roam from place to place.