Getting to work is the worst in these 10 cities

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By

Myles Ma

Myles Ma

Senior Managing Editor

Myles Ma is a health care expert & personal finance writer for Policygenius. He edits the Easy Money newsletter.

Published May 21, 2018|2 min read

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Maybe some day, getting to work will be easy. We'll nap in self-driving cars or hop into flying taxis. Perhaps drones will hook their robot arms into our backpack straps and haul us to our offices.

But not today. Our commutes grow a few seconds longer each year, Census data show. In 2016, it took U.S. workers an average of 26.1 minutes to travel to work, about a minute longer than it took in 2009.

Not every commute is created equal. Those of us who work in the New York area can feel our commutes are terrible. Now there's evidence to back that up, which you can see below. We looked at Census data for commuting times in metro areas across the country and found the 10 worst.

The longest commutes

10. Vallejo-Fairfield, California Average time to work: 30.8 minutes Number of commuters: 181,894 Amount commuting more than 90 minutes: 5.6%

Tie 8. Hammond, Louisiana Average time to work: 31 minutes Number of commuters: 51,999 Amount commuting more than 90 minutes: 5%

Tie 8. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, California Average time to work: 31 minutes Number of commuters: 2.5 million Amount commuting more than 90 minutes: 3.3%

7. Stockton-Lodi, California Average time to work: 31.2 minutes Number of commuters: 266,892 Amount commuting more than 90 minutes: 8.3%

6. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois Average time to work: 31.3 minutes Number of commuters: 4.3 million Amount commuting more than 90 minutes: 3.3%

5. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California Average time to work: 31.8 minutes Number of commuters: 1.7 million Amount commuting more than 90 minutes: 6.4%

4. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California Average time to work: 32.1 minutes Number of commuters: 2.1 million Amount commuting more than 90 minutes: 3.9%

3. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Virginia Average time to work: 34.4 minutes Number of commuters: 3 million Amount commuting more than 90 minutes: 4.4%

2. New York-Newark-Jersey City, New York-New Jersey Average time to work: 35.9 minutes Number of commuters: 9 million Amount commuting more than 90 minutes: 6.5%

1. East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania Average time to work: 38.6 minutes Number of commuters: 71,186 Amount commuting more than 90 minutes: 13.4%

Hate your commute?

Research shows the quality of your commute significantly impacts your well being. If your journey to and from work stresses you out more than the job itself, you may want to change things up. A study from the Transportation Research Board shows train and bicycle riders enjoyed their commutes more than people who take the bus or car.

You may also want to ask your employer if you can work at home some days or find a place to live that's closer to work.

Moving to a new city? Make sure you plan and practice your commute. Here are seven other things to do right away if you've got a new place in a new town.

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