Stillwater News Press

Our World

August 21, 2012

Super-commuters: How far would you travel for a paycheck?

Some say the most difficult part of any job is the daily commute back and forth. Whether it's the traffic, the mad dash to make it on time, or being awakened by that pesky alarm clock, the hectic travel experience to work can tire you out before you even get to the job.

As annoying as some commutes are, most people only have a relatively short distance to travel. It's pretty safe to assume that journeying 30 minutes or an hour is worth getting a paycheck and being able to provide for yourself and family.

But a growing number of workers are now traveling long distances every day to earn a dollar, and we're not talking about commuting just an hour or so. A report conducted by the NYU Wagner Rudin Center showed that Manhattan had the highest number of extreme commuters in the country.

Two hours or more

So, just who are these extreme or “super-commuters”?

It's those people who travel two, three or even four hours to get to work each day. The U.S. Census Bureau defines the super-commuter, as one who spends at least 90 minutes traveling to work each day.

The report shows the increase in these types of commuters is indicative of a large growth in Manhattan's "laborshed," which now stretches much further than just the five boroughs.

For example, many Manhattan workers travel from Boston, which is an entire state away. Having to go through the short but wide state of Connecticut and then having to battle the crazy traffic of New York City, is enough to give anyone a perpetual migraine. Nevertheless, Boston had the highest number of people commuting to New York City on a daily basis.

The report also shows there has been a 60 percent increase (22,200 total) of Manhattan workers commuting from outside the New York City-Newark, N.J.-Bridgeport, Conn.-area, and that number has only increased since the 2010 study was conducted.

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