Census: Bay Area tops 'mega-commuter' list

March 5, 2013 2:53:35 PM PST
The Bay Area has a new distinction, but it's nothing to be proud of. The commute can be so bad, there's a new name for it: "mega-commuters."

Bay Area drivers have the worst of the worst commutes in America, according to new Census Bureau statistics. A "mega-commuter" is a worker who spends at least 90 minutes, plus 50 miles to get to the office in the morning. "Mega commuters" exist across the country -- there are about 587,000 of them, but the highest percentage are in the Bay Area.

Drivers in the Bay Area are four-times more likely than the average American worker to be a "mega-commuter."

Here's the good news: if you're not already a mega commuter, you're not likely to become one. The Census Bureau did this same study in 2000 and even though the commute sounds awful -- it hasn't changed.

"The percentage of workers who took 90 minutes or longer to get to work--and that's a pretty long time one-way -- in the year 2000 was right between 2 and 3 percent of all workers, and that's actually stayed about the same, according to our most recent data," said Brian McKenzie of the U.S. Census Bureau.

For those who aren't mega-commuters, but are just regular Bay Area drivers, Bay Area commute times apparently aren't that bad; the average one-way commute time in 2011 was 24.7 minutes in Santa Clara county, 27.8 minutes in Oakland and 29.6 minutes in San Francisco.


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