New Jerseyans Have the Longest Commute In the U.S.
Another first for the Garden State: Census figures show New Jerseyans have the longest average one-way commute to work in the nation.
The U.S. Census shows the Jersey drive averages 30 to 34 minutes. For some in Bergen, Middlesex, Ocean, Morris and Somerset counties, that time may be 90 minutes or more. Martin Robins, director of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers' John J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy says, "it can be a very, very difficult commute for people in those counties, getting from their homes to their jobs."
There are an estimated 4.1 million commuters in the state. The majority of those, about 2.95 million, drive to their job alone. Just over 445,000 depend on public transportation. In addition, 77 percent of the drivers traveling to work are between the ages of 18 and 34. That compares to an average of 84 percent of young adults who drive to work across the country.
"There still remain inadequate roads and significant mileage between where people live and where they work. If they begin to live in a more efficient pattern, you are going to see a great deal more use of public transportation on the journey to work," Robins said.
According to Robins, future planning to cut that Jersey drive will have to include more mass transit and telecommuting.
"The critical thing that you have to look at is where people are living and where they are working," Robins said.
New Yorkers join New Jerseyans with that 30 to 34-minute average drive to work.
One statistic that doesn't conform to the rest shows that many in Monmouth and Cumberland county residents actually have the shortest commute time, traveling only about 10 to 15 minutes. Robins says he isn't sure why that is the case in Monmouth County, but in Cumberland County, he reasons, there is less congestion.