the brake down

Surprising city rolls past Houston for longest commute time in Texas, new ranking shows

Surprising city rolls past Houston for longest commute time in Texas

Houston traffic congestion bumper to bumper
Houstonians might be surprised that another city has the worst traffic in the Lone Star State.  Photo courtesy of ABC13

With construction nightmares and back-to-school congestion, Houstonians may (rightfully) assume ours is the worst traffic in the nation, let alone Texas.

And why not? A report released earlier this year calculated that Houstonians spent more than two days (50 hours total) sitting in traffic last year and named Houston the 37th most-congested traffic city on the planet. 

But just how bad do we have it compared to our Texas neighbors? A new study finds that Houston actually has the second-longest commute time in Texas among the state’s biggest cities. 

For a new ranking, real estate site HomeArea.com looked at Texas cities with at least 60,000 residents that had enough data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey to estimate the average travel time to get to work. In its list, the website presented the cities with the Texas best and worst commute times.

Among Texas’ five biggest cities, Houston (slowly) rolls to the near bottom of the list, with an average of 27.3 minutes per commuter. San Antonio residents enjoy the shortest commute to work, at 24.7 minutes, according to the HomeArea.com ranking. Alamo City was followed by Austin (24.8), and Dallas (26.7).

Houstonians might be surprised at No. 1: Fort Worth has the worst commute among the five largest cities with an average time of 27.9 minutes. Meanwhile, lucky Lubbock has the best time, with workers averaging just 16.3 minutes to get to work.

And pity the the poor commuters in Garland. Of the Texas cities ranked by real estate website HomeArea.com, Garland commuters have the longest trek to the office — 29.5 minutes.

For Houstonians who enjoy a little traffic-themed schadenfreude: A 2017 ranking named Dallas the 10th most traffic-congested cities in the U.S., making it the most traffic-congested city in Texas. Transportation analytics provider Inrix calculated that Dallas drivers wasted 54 hours in rush-hour traffic last year. 

That same report found Houston at No. 11 — a small win for Houstonians keeping score (while sitting in traffic).