Dallas-Fort Worth stalled by some of the worst commutes in U.S., new report says
When it comes to braking in traffic, Dallas-Fort Worth can't catch a break. Workers here have some of the worst daily commutes in the nation, a new SmartAsset report says.
The road warriors in Garland have it particularly tough (as anyone who's driven I-635 through northeast Dallas and into the suburbs lately can attest). Garland has the third worst commute in the country, the report says. It's joined by Dallas, Arlington, Fort Worth, Irving, and Plano in the top 100 "worst."
The financial services website compared data from the 100 largest U.S. cities and ranked the worst commutes by six factors: percentage of workers who commute; average travel time to work; transportation as a percentage of income; percentage of workers with a commute longer than 60 minutes; and five-year change in both travel time and percentage of workers with long commutes.
Garland ranked No. 3 worst, only out-trafficked by two California cities - Stockton and Bakersfield - which came in first and second, respectively.
Of the Dallas suburb, SmartAsset writes, "The majority of workers in Garland, Texas, are commuters (86.1%). And they average the seventh-highest commute time (roughly 30 minutes vs. the national average of 25.6 minutes). About 9.1% of commuters, however, experience drives over one hour (12th-highest). Overall, the average commute time has increased by 2.37% between 2016 and 2021."
Texas' two biggest cities, Houston and Dallas, (somehow!) tied for No. 23. The average commute time in Dallas is 25.7 minutes; in Houston, it's 26.1 minutes. But in Dallas, more workers (6.5%) have a "severe" commute of 60 minutes or more; in Houston, it's 5.8%. Houstonians spend a tiny bit more of their income on transportation costs than Dallas drivers do (9.9% vs. 9%).
Notably, Dallas and Houston ranked worse than notoriously traffic-jammed Los Angeles, which came in at No. 25.
Also on the top-100 list are the North Texas cities of Arlington (No. 33), Fort Worth (No. 47), Irving (No. 50), and Plano (No. 52).
Average commute times are nearly identical in Arlington and Fort Worth - 26.1 minutes and 25.9 minutes, respectively. In Arlington, 5.4% of workers have a "severe" commute; in Fort Worth, 6.3% of workers do. In both cities, residents spend 9% of income on transportation costs.
In case you're now thinking, "I should really try out public transportation, here aresome handylinks.
Elsewhere around the state, city rankings were:
- San Antonio, No. 55
- Lubbock, No. 61
- Austin, No. 64
- Corpus Christi, No. 78
- Laredo, No. 81
Interestingly, SmartAsset notes, despite the rise in remote work the past few years, the average commute time went down by only one minute in five years. The national average decreased from 26.6 minutes in 2016 to 25.6 minutes in 2021, they say, while the percentage of remote workers has tripled in about half the time.
"Workers in 2023 will average almost 222 hours (or a little over nine days) driving to and from work," the report says. "And these hours spent in transit cost commuters more than just their time. The price of fuel, public transit passes and other commuter-related costs can add up quickly."