Study: Milwaukee’s commute time among nation’s lowest

Local commuters in 2017 spent 44.4 minutes per day commuting

Commute times in the Milwaukee area are shorter than in most other large American cities.

It’s no secret that Milwaukeeans enjoy fairly quick and easy commutes compared to those in other large American cities.

In 2017, local commuters spent an average of 44.4 minutes per day traveling to and from work, totaling about 8 days per year.

That’s according to a recent study by COMMERCIALCafe, a national commercial information services provider, which ranked Milwaukee as no. 5 among U.S. cities with the lowest average commute times in 2017.

Topping the list with the shortest commute times was Oklahoma City, where commuters spent an average of 42.8 minutes per day, or 7.7 days per year commuting. Indianapolis came in as no. 10 with 46.8 minutes per day, or 8.5 days per year.

New York City commuters in 2017 spent the most time commuting: 83.6 minutes per day or 15.1 hours per year. Chicago came in at no. 2 with 69.8 minutes per day or 12.6 days per year.

COMMERCIALCafe also tracked changes in commute times over the past decade as the total number of commuters in the U.S. have decreased, but population in some cities has increased.

Milwaukee commute times between 2008 and 2017 increased by 0.9 hours per year on average, which was one of slightest increases among U.S. cities with a population above 500,000.

It compares to other cities that also saw minimal increases or steep decreases in commute times during that period such as Detroit, with the highest average decrease of 8.7 hours per year; Memphis, Tennessee commute times fell an average of 3.5 hours per year; and Tuscon, Arizona with an average increase of 1.7 hours per year. 

West Coast cities dominated the list of cities where commuting time increased the most from 2008 to 2017, with California taking 5 positions in the top 10. San Jose topped the list with a 47.7 average increase during that time period. 

The study was based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau of Labor Statistics, COMMERCIALCafe said. Complete lists of the study’s rankings are available here.

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Maredithe Meyer
Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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