Houston Ranks as Eighth Worst City for Commuters
Friday, May 09, 2008 3:25 PM
Forbes.com recently ranked the 10 best cities for commuters and the 10 worst cities for commuters.
Houston's was the eighth worst city for commuters.
The magazine examined 75 of the biggest metropolitan areas in the nation and analyzed traffic patterns, travel delays, travel times and how efficiently commuters use existing infrastructure, according to information from the Texas Transportation Institute and the U.S. Census Bureau's 2006 American Community Survey.
Read the full article here.
Cities were rated worse when they suffered from a combination of horrendous traffic, inadequate infrastructure and drivers who avoid carpools and public transit.
Other cities that came out at the bottom include San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dallas - ranked the fifth worst city for commuters. The reason? While Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has expanded, it has not done it fast enough to accommodate the suburban sprawl that compounds traffic snarls. Dallas has worse traffic congestion than Houston with fewer people using non-single-driver commutes (15 percent versus 17 percent for Houston). Dallas drivers experience 58 hours of delays every year compared to Houston's 56 hours.
The No. 1 worst city for commuters is Atlanta, the fastest-growing city on the list in the United States, where more drivers crowd onto the roadways than the infrastructure can handle. Only 29 percent of its drivers get to work in less than 20 minutes - the third worst rate in the nation. And 13 percent spend more than an hour driving to work, making it the nation's fourth worst rate.
On the flip side, rejoice if you live in Buffalo, N.Y., Salt Lake City and Milwaukee where the living is easy, as far as commutes go. Other top cities include Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Corpus Christi and Eugene, Ore.
One good thing Houston has going for it: In cities with more than two million workers, we have the highest percentage of carpoolers. Thirteen percent of residents carpool.
Still, says forbes.com, "Houston has largely resisted mass transit system development in favor of expanding roadways, highways and interstates to accommodate more cars."
With the escalating price of gas, METRO's ridership has increased - and hopefully, when our five light-rail lines are completed in 2012, Houston can climb its way onto the list of the 10 best cities for commuters.