Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Columbia SC Tops List of Shortest Commutes

The next time you catch yourself griping about the commute to your law office, be thankful you’re not in Los Angeles – where drivers spend an average of 102 hours stuck in traffic each year.

Or New York City (91 hours), Atlanta (70 hours) or Miami (64 hours).

And commuting in those locations doesn’t just eat up your time. It also costs you money (gas and car repairs are pricier in those areas) and harms your health (stress, respiratory ailments).

That’s according to a 2018 survey from the traffic data company INRIX.

“The average person will tolerate a 40-minute commute,” said one of the researchers on the Inrix report. “If a commuter spends a lot of time in congestion, it reduces the distance people want to live from where they work.”

Which may explain why motorists in Columbia, SC – who get to and from work in an average of 15.2 minutes – are smiling. And why drivers in Phoenix – who spend less than three hours a month snarled in traffic – have lives of such bliss.

Closer to home, Winston-Salem – with an average commute time of 20.6 minutes – made the list.

Top 20 Cities for Low Commute Times

Commuters in North Carolina have it made in comparison to Brooklyn and Boston – where congestion is high and gas is expensive. In fact, several NC cities rank in the Top 100 nationwide for low commute times and cheap gas.

Columbia, SC – home of the University of South Carolina and the world-famous Palmetto Peanut Boil – tops the list.

Here is the full list, courtesy of MSN and GoBanking.

  1. Columbia SC. Average commute – 15.2 minutes
  2. Provo UT. Average commute – 17.8 minutes
  3. Wichita KS. Average commute – 18.2 minutes
  4. Grand Rapids MI. Average commute – 19.3 minutes
  5. Salt Lake City UT. Average commute – 19.4 minutes
  6. Montgomery AL. Average commute – 19.4 minutes
  7. Ann Arbor MI. Average commute – 20.4 minutes
  8. Jackson MI. Average commute – 20.5 minutes
  9. Winston-Salem NC. Average commute – 20.6 minutes
  10. Buffalo NY. Average commute – 20.9 minutes
  11. Albuquerque NM. Average commute – 21.2 minutes
  12. Kansas City MO. Average commute – 21.8 minutes
  13. Mobile AL. Average commute – 21.9 minutes
  14. Milwaukee WI. Average commute – 22 minutes
  15. Cincinnati OH. Average commute – 22.6 minutes
  16. Richmond VA. Average commute – 22.8 minutes
  17. Minneapolis MN. Average commute – 22.9 minutes
  18. Louis MO. Average commute – 24.1 minutes
  19. New Orleans LA. Average commute – 25 minutes
  20. Phoenix AZ. Average commute – 26 minutes.


So how long is your daily commute?




About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

Read More by Jay >

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