Oct 8 2019
06:29 am

The average American commute grew to just over 27 minutes one way in 2018, a record high...

The average American has added about two minutes to their one-way commute since 2009

All told, the average American worker spent 225 hours, or well over nine full calendar days, commuting in 2018.

The shift is being driven in large part by an increase in the share of workers with long commutes.

People with long commutes tend to pay more for gas, typically get less sleep, have more fat, and are less happy than people who don't, according to the Dallas Business Journal.

Here is a ranking of "the top 50 worst commutes in the country, using data from the 2017 American Community Survey."

Nashville is the only city in Tennessee to make the top 50, at number 26. That's a good thing. Florida has seven cities/metro areas on the list. Orlando is 18th on the list. There is a lot of tourist traffic competition in Central Florida. Amazingly enough, one thing I learned while living in the Orlando area is to drive slower, unless you have escaped the congested metro areas.

News Channel 5, Nashville, had a report last year indicating that "more than a quarter of Nashville employees surveyed say they have quit a job over a bad commute..."

I know a lot of people commute to/from Blount County/Knox County for work. There are a couple of hours in the day when the traffic is slow and heavy. Otherwise, it is a pretty easy commute. When we lived in the Orlando, FL, area I traveled from the north side to the south side for work. It was only 20-25 miles but took forever, 45 minutes or so. Many times I chose to drive the 2 and 4 lane roads versus the interstate. At least there was movement and you could stop for coffee, food, shopping along the way. On the interstate you could get stuck with no movement and no readily available access to exit. Many times I do the same here in Knoxville.

I do wonder, and have for years, if there shouldn't be more effort to have some sort of bus system running between Knox and Blount counties for commuters. It might have to be customized for the patrons, e.g. commuter parking, small buses/vans, more frequent service during morning and evening, then less frequent during the day.

Treehouse's picture


I've promoted carpooling, HOV lanes, and park-and-ride for years with little to no help. Sustainable Transportation seems to mean more fuel efficient cars and bike lanes. If Nashville has HOV lanes, why can't we with two interstates going right through downtown Knoxville? There are way too many trucks on the roads also. Commuting is really hard these days. I wish some corporation or organization would take it on as a challenge to overcome.

R. Neal's picture

TDOT is run by road builders.

TDOT is run by road builders. They build roads, not transportation systems.

Treehouse's picture

For example...

From Compass this morning:

The City of Knoxville earned a 2019 Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Award last week from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Department of Transportation for its Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project

One road!

(And a pet peeve, why is TDOT contributing money to the memorial to honor those who died in the Gatlinburg fire?!)

Treehouse's picture

And more

From Knox TN Today about Hardin Valley:

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau underscores the critical need for an efficient transportation network. Of those who live in the study area, 89 percent don’t work there; of those who work in the area, 93 percent don’t live there.

Rachel's picture

Years ago, I commuted from

Years ago, I commuted from Tazewell to Oak Ridge every day. ON a good day, it was an hour and 15 minutes of suckitude one say. But I lived that far away because my husband's job required him to live in Claiborne County and there were damn few technical jobs around there.

Why people choose crappy commutes is beyond me. But then I'm retired and I'm married to the guy who commutes 3 miles on his bicycle.

bizgrrl's picture

Required to live in Claiborne

Required to live in Claiborne County?!?!? My, my.

"damn few technical jobs around there"

One reason we moved to Florida. For 20 plus years you could get a tech job in a day. Don't know how it is now.

Rachel's picture

He was the Claiborne County

He was the Claiborne County Farm Bureau insurance agent. Under those circumstances, it was a reasonable requirement.

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