DC region among worst nationwide for commute times, ranking reveals

D.C.-area drivers might not have the smoothest commutes compared to other regions across the country.

Average one-way trips to work in D.C., Maryland and Virginia are among the worst in the nation, according to a new ranking.

Coverage.com, a resource that aims to help consumers understand insurance, compiled data from a 2018 community survey by the U.S. Census Bureau — before the pandemic — and found that on average, commuters in D.C., Maryland and Virginia spend about a half-hour in a car.

In Virginia, it’s an average of 28.4 minutes of driving to work, putting the commonwealth at No. 42. Down the road in D.C., the time gets a bit longer, with an average commute of 30.3 minutes, which is 13.9% higher than the national average and puts the nation’s capital at No. 47 on the list.

Second to last on the list at No. 49 is Maryland, with an average one-way trip to work costing drivers 32.9 minutes.

(Data visualization courtesy Coverage.com)

The only state worse than Maryland was New York, with an average drive time of 33.3 minutes. Wyoming was last because data was not available to determine drive times.

To find the best commutes, head to South Dakota, which averages a one-way drive of just over 17 minutes.

(Data visualization courtesy Coverage.com)

The travel time gets a bit better when you just look at people driving into work alone. In Virginia, lone drivers spend 27.3 minutes on the road. That time is 28.8 minutes in D.C. and 31 minutes in Maryland.

With more stops along the way, car poolers spend the most time in the car, with the average trip to work in Virginia lasting 31.9 minutes; in D.C., it’s 29.5 minutes; and in Maryland, travel times average 30 minutes flat.

The study even evaluated which cities had the longest and shortest commutes. Residents of Skyland Estates in Warren County, Virginia, have the longest commutes, averaging 60.6 minutes; whereas people who live in Blacksburg see the shortest drive times at around 14.6 minutes.

In Maryland, people who live in the private community of Chesapeake Ranch Estates in Lusby spend the most time driving to work, around 47 minutes; and people who live near Joint Base Andrews spend just under 19 minutes to get to work.

Find the average commute times nationwide by county using the group’s online chart.

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Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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