How about that high-speed rail?

Houston leads the nation in super commuters — including 51,900 who drive to work from Dallas

Houston leads the nation in super commuters — including 51,900 who drive to work from Dallas

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So many super-commuters. Does this mean it's time for a high-speed rail?

As if the need for an efficient, high speed rail system in Texas weren't clear enough, take a look at these figures. 

A study published by the Rudin Center for Transportation at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service, ranks Harris County at No. 1, nationwide, for super-commuters in the workforce. 

The study defines a super-commuter as "a person who works in the central county of a given metropolitan area, but lives beyond the boundaries of that metropolitan area, commuting long distance by air, rail, car, bus, or a combination of modes," once or twice weekly.

 Researchers found that super-commuting is becoming a trend in eight of the 10 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.

 Researchers found that this method is becoming a trend in eight of the 10 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.

But even in a time when advances in digital communications make mobile offices both practical and commonplace, Harris County's numbers seem astonishing: In 2009, super-commuters made up an impressive 13.2 percent of the workforce, or 251,000 workers — a 98.3 percent increase since 2002. 

According to the study, 51,900 of those workers made the miserable trip from Dallas-Fort Worth (a 218 percent increase from 2002) to Harris County jobs, 35,400 traveled from Austin (a 115 percent increase) and 31,100 came from San Antonio (a 116 percent increase). 

Dallas-Fort Worth also saw an increase in super-commuters during the study years. Houstonians travel furthest and most, with 44,300 super-commuters (or 3.3 percent of the Dallas-Fort Worth workforce), followed by Austin with 32,400 super-commuters and San Antonio with 13,800.

So, how about that $10 billion high speed rail line between Dallas and Houston? 

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