Twin Cities commute times haven't changed in five years

Whoever these lucky commuters are, they're missing rush hour.
Whoever these lucky commuters are, they're missing rush hour.
edmenendez | Flickr Creative Commons
When you're seeing red from tail lights on 35W in the morning, you can start wondering what all those other commuters are doing. Does everyone have to be at work at the same time as you? How long would it take to get to the office if you finally gave in and switched to the bus? And is traffic in the Twin Cities at least getting any better?

See also:
- Minnesota's proportion of native-born residents decreasing, says census
- U.S. Senate approves $700 million for Minnesota transportation projects
- Twin Cities ranked 5th best in America for public transportation

The census has new answers.

The recently-released

American Communities Survey

is filled with data on how we lived in 2011. There are all the standard numbers: who's employed, who's unemployed, how much the average Twin Cities resident makes, even how many of us have health insurance (11.6 percent of 383,212 Minneapolis residents are uninsured, though that's down from 14.3 percent in 2010).

But there are also a few more random stats, a lot of them about how we get to work. Per the survey, Twin Cities residents spend a median of 24 minutes on the road if they're driving to work solo. Switching to public transportation means an additional 15 minutes.

Given new construction, you might think those times are getting better. But the best we can say is that at least they're not getting worse: in the past five years, average commute times have stayed exactly the same.

The most surprising piece of transportation trivia? For many of our neighbors, the classic 9-to-5 starts a full two hours earlier: 32 percent of Twin Cities commuters report leaving for work before 7 a.m.

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