Americans are stuck in long commutes

March 5, 2013 12:00 AM

Many Americans read the journey to work for a variety of reasons, but a large portion must face long commutes and heavy traffic. According to data from the U.S. Census, about 8 percent of workers in the country have commutes of more than one hour each way, and an additional 600,000 people travel at least 50 miles and an hour and a half for their job. 

"The average travel time for workers who commute by public transportation is higher than that of workers who use other modes," Brian McKenzie, a Census Bureau statistician, told USA Today. "For some workers, using transit is a necessity, but others simply choose a longer travel time over sitting in traffic." 

On average, it took longer to get to work in 2011 than it did in 2000, which may also mean cars need more vehicle maintenance to keep up with the heavier use. In an effort to cut down on this use, about one-quarter of commuters who travel more than one hour use public transit instead of cars. 

Washington, D.C., was the worst city for commuters. Each year, commuters spend about 67 hours stuck in traffic in the nation's capital - six more than second-place Los Angeles, The Atlantic reports. 

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