Twenty-Five Point One — If Only

Apparently I wasn’t consulted for the data that was released this week from the Census Bureau regarding commuting times.

Average daily commute is getting shorter

(Associated Press) It might be hard for some drivers to believe, but average commuting times are getting shorter for U.S. workers.

The average daily commute to work has shrunk from 25.5 minutes in 2000 to 25.1 minutes last year, according to data released this week by the Census Bureau.

“We all should hold a celebration,” said Alan Pisarski, author of “Commuting in America.” “We’re saving 0.4 minutes!”

That’s 0.4 minutes each way, for a total of 48 seconds a day.

But not everyone’s buying it.

“Even with these numbers, we swear up and down that we are spending more time in our cars,” said John B. Townsend II, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic in Washington.

“We are spending at least an hour a day in our cars in the Washington area,” Townsend said. “We spend more time stuck in traffic and commuting (each year) than we spend on vacation.”

The numbers are surprising because many of the nation’s fastest-growing communities are in the outer suburbs, miles from central cities. The shorter commuting times could be a sign that jobs are following the workers, Pisarski said.

For example, the nation’s longest commute, at 39.6 minutes, is in the Vineland, N.J., metropolitan area, about 40 miles south of Philadelphia.

My average of an hour and a half each way commuting to work Monday thru Friday definitely would’ve thrown off the statistical curve. Oh, to have only a 25.1 minute commute — or hell, even a 39.6 minute commute — each day… I can only dream. Which I apparently have a lot of time to do during my work commute since it is frowned upon to catch up on reading or watching television shows on the video iPod (which I don’t even own anyway).

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