Traffic Watch

Houston drivers stuck with one of the worst commute times in the country

Houston drivers stuck with one of the worst commute times in country

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Houston drivers will spend almost 10 days commuting this year. Photo courtesy of TxDOT

Now this is a list we don't want to top. Drivers in the Houston metro area will spend more time commuting to and from work in 2019 than the average American, according to a report from

In the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area, drivers spend 29.5 minutes a day on one-way trips and 59 minutes on round trips, the report says. Researchers project Houstonians will spend almost 10 full days (9.95) commuting this year. Meanwhile, the average American will spend only 7.4 days making the same trips.

The report's calculation begins with the average person working a five-day work week, which amounts to 260 days a year. Researchers then subtracted about 17 days for how long the average person spends on vacation per year (based on a 2018 study). Lastly, researchers used average daily commute data from the U.S. Census Bureau for nearly 1,000 cities around the country to make their projections. 

Commuters in Texas' other major metros fare better than Houston, but not by much. According to the study, Dallas-Plano-Irving will spend 9.41 days getting to work and back home, whereas Fort Worth-Arlington will spend 9.31 days on the road. Austin-Round Rock residents will spend 8.9 days commuting, and San Antonio-New Braunfels will spend 8.67 days making the same trips.

The distinction of worst commute in Texas goes to the surprising cities of Athens and Bonham, both projected to spend 9.98 days commuting this year. Drivers in Vernon log the shortest commute times in the state, averaging 13-minute one-way trips and 26-minute round trips for a projected 4.38 days for the year.

The East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania metro area clocks in with the worst commute time in the country: 38.6 minutes for one-way trips and 77.2 minutes on round trips, totaling a hefty 13 days lost on the road.