Interactive Monday: What's the average commute time in your town or city?

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Oct 20, 2019
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Interactive, Budgeting

Interactive map from the Census Bureau allows students to scroll over their metro/nearest metro area to find out how long the average commute is:

When you scroll over a given metro area, you get the average commute time and also the various modes of transportation to get there.

Here's my county (Santa Clara, CA): 

This would be a good resource to include when students are completing a post-high school or post-college budget. Good starting point for a conversation about the tradeoffs between commute time (and cost to commute) and cost to rent an apartment. And yes, people with longer commutes do tend to be less happy. 

Questions:

  • What is the average commute time in your metro area (or the nearest metro area) if you don't live in a metro area)?
  • What are the various ways the workers commute to their jobs? Do you have a personal preference on how you would like to commute? 
  • As you think about working after high school or college, how important is the commute time as you think about where to live and work? 
  • Imagine you get a job in a major city and want to be able to walk to work instead of having a commute. This will reduce your commuting cost significantly. How do you think the cost of apartments in cities compare to those further out in the suburbs? 

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About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.