It's Official: Chicago Has The Worst Commute In The Country

By Stephen Gossett in News on Apr 7, 2017 5:53PM

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Getty Images / Photo: Tim Boyle

If you've ever been inching interminably along the Kennedy Expressway, spending another umpteenth hour stuck in travel purgatory on the way to the office, overcome with a Godot-esque sense of existential dislocation and thought, "This is the worst," well, it turns out you're right. It is the worst! Chicago tops the list for worst commute in the entire country, according to a new study.

Chicago averaged higher than New York City, Los Angeles, Houston and all the other usual terrible-commute suspects in a recent analysis of US Census data by Auto Accessories Garage. Chicagoans endure an average commute length of 32.4 minutes, compared to the national average of 25.5 minutes, good (read: bad) enough for the longest commute among the nation's most populous cities. (By the way, the best commute among heavily populate metros: Omaha.) Here's the Top Five breakdown, city by city.

Most populous cities with the longest commute times:
1) Chicago: 32.4 minutes
2) Philadelphia: 31.2 minutes
3) New York: 29.5 minutes
4) Miami: 29.5 minutes
5) Los Angeles: 28.9 minutes

These reports tend to fluctuate, so the study probably shouldn't be taken as the final word. For example, a Brookings Institute study from last year found that Chicago's average commute ran longer than what researchers found above (36.9 minutes rather than 32.4) but only ranked Chicago No. 8 overall. But that study found also that people in cities all over are traveling greater distances between home and work. So, unfortunately, we're not alone in our misery. And now that the weather is improving, it's a great time, if you haven't already, to make that nation-leading trudge more palatable on the wheels of a bike.

[H/T NBC Chicago]