Average commute times in the U.S. shown on awesome interactive map

How bad is your commute?

Too many Americans are stuck with long commutes, and there's a double-whammy effect because the longer a commute is, the least likely you are to have access to good public transit options; if you live fairly close to a big center where most jobs are located, chances are you'll also be close to buses, BRT, light-trains, maybe even a subway. But if you're out there in the far-off corner of some exurb, you might only be able to get out with a car.

Numbers alone don't do the situation justice (for example, the average commute is 25.4 minutes, but there's a huge variance from place to place), which is why this interactive map created by WNYC is so awesome. You can enter your zip code and see commute times in your area, or you can pan around, zoom in and out, and get lost in this sea of nicely visualized data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

You can see a big version of the map here.

Map commute times washington dcWNYC/Screen capture

Huge quantities of fossil fuels are burned daily just so hundreds of millions of Americans can go back and forth between two points 5 times a week. It doesn't make sense; cars can be useful for certain things, but regular and predictable commutes are best done with public transit. The U.S. needs big investments in that area to bring its infrastructure up to par to make it convenient and pleasant for people to leave the car home.

Via WNYC, Grist

See also: 261 MPG Volkswagen XL1 diesel plug-in hybrid to be produced in limited quantities

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