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More of us work from home, but for those who do not, commuting time has increased

by Michael Sivak.

This analysis examines the recent changes in the percentage of people who work at home and changes in time spent commuting to work in the United States and in the 15 largest US cities. The source of the data is the American Community Survey—an ongoing survey by the US Census Bureau. The analysis uses the estimates for 2012 and 2017. The information is for workers 16 years of age and older. The city data apply to the cities listed and not their respective metropolitan areas.

The table below shows the percentages of workers who worked at home, both for the entire country and for the 15 largest cities, with the cities listed in decreasing order of this percentage in 2017.

The percentage increased both for the United States (from 4.4% in 2012 to 5.2% in 2017), and for each examined city except for San Jose (which showed a decrease). In 2017, the percentage in the individual cities ranged by a factor of 2.4—from 8.8% in Austin to 3.6% in Fort Worth.

Sivak1a

The table below shows the mean one-way travel time to work (by any means) for those who did not work at home, both for the entire country and for the 15 largest cities (with the cities listed in decreasing order of the mean travel time in 2017).

The mean travel time increased both for the United States (from 25.7 minutes in 2012 to 26.9 minutes in 2017), and for each examined city except for Columbus (which showed no change). In 2017, the mean travel time in the individual cities ranged by a factor of 1.9—from 41.8 minutes in New York to 21.6 minutes in Columbus.

Sivak2a

This analysis has documented two seemingly opposing trends. On one hand, the percentage of those who work at home (and thus have travel time of zero) has recently increased, albeit they still represent only a small minority. On the other hand, for those who commute to work, travel time has increased.


Michael Sivak is the managing director of Sivak Applied Research and the former director of Sustainable Worldwide Transportation at the University of Michigan.

Comments

HarveyD

More roads/highways lead to more further suburbs, more private cars, longer travel times, more pollution and GHGs.

Working at home and/or more high speed electric public transports could reverse the current trend?

SJC

Southern California has 91 and 405 freeways where people commute 100 miles round trip for 3 hours per work day. People don't car pool, don't work from home nor do companies put branch offices in the suburbs. If we want sustainable mobility, we need to do better.

Engineer-Poet

"High-speed electric public transports" immediately become travel routes for the criminal class, which they do not even pay to ride.

Putting in such transport is an open invitation to a crime wave.

HarveyD

Japan and SO-Korea have one of the best and fastest commute e-system and one of the lowest crime rate and so has Germany, China and many other countries.

High crime rates in USA started decades/centuries ago during the cowboy days followed by declining/lack of civilities, current local and imported gangs and many more deranged local people with guns in their hands.

Engineer-Poet

Japan and South Korea are mono-racial societies.  That's why they can have nice trains, and (save for a few things like the Acela) we can't.

HarveyD

Elon Musk may have the answer with small underground ultra high speed modules in low pressure tubes. Each small module could be equipped with face detection cameras, automated tasers and sleep gas to keep passengers well behaved?

To deal with people having multiple behavioral problems may require the use of complex automated technologies.

Building more prisons may not be the best solution?

Lad

HyperLoops and scooters will be the future of mass transit. Crime is the byproduct of a sick society not a method of transportation.

Engineer-Poet

Blaming the victims, Lad?  I know it's fashionable in many circles but it's still wrong.

SJC

Mass transit is part of the "commons" or shared resources.
Americans tend to be independent, we do not play well together.

HarveyD

In 2016, the Acela Express had about 3.5 million passengers and 860 cases of reported Larceny or one case per 4070 passengers. That is an extremely high rate of crime for high speed express trains and is probably many times Japan's and similar Express trains in other countries.

More should/could be done to reduce the crime rate on the Acela Express by 5 to 10+ times. The current high rate of crime is not acceptable.

Engineer-Poet

That would be easy, Harvey.  Simply look for commonalities in the criminals, and restrict or totally ban the group they belong to from Acela (and any other transit where they form the criminal element).

Except the "optics" of that group would be Politically Incorrect to sanction.  You are REQUIRED to worship them.

HarveyD

High speed face and body recognition cameras could be used to separate the neo-cowboys, convicted thieves, illegals and armed criminals from others?

Certain facilities and areas can be legally restricted ?

Of course, screening for security reasons has a cost but it may soon be essential for property and body protection.

SJC

We can have a subscription shuttle services, you are checked out as a customer with RFID card, no card, no ride.

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