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10 Best Cities for Commuters

If the daily slog through rush-hour gridlock is wearing through your tires, your psyche and your pocketbook, consider our list of the ten American cities with the easiest, most affordable commutes. To make the cut, our cities all have a metro population of at least 1 million and a low congestion cost (a measurement of wasted time and fuel calculated by the Texas Transportation Institute). We also factored in the average length of commute, local gas prices, yearly delays per commuter, and public transit use.
Our winners have some shared characteristics. Their congestion costs all fall below $550 per person
(the national average is $808). Some have seen massive
population declines, clearing out roadways built for heavy travel.
Others take advantage of excellent road networks,
and lots of urban parking lots. All have some of the happiest,
least-stressed urban commuters in the country.

Average Commute Time: 25 minutes Yearly Congestion Cost per Commuter: $808
Average Length of Commute: 11.79 miles
Cost of Regular Gas: $3.23 per gallon
Yearly Delays per Commuter: 34 hours
Yearly Fuel Wasted per Commuter: 28 gallons
Public Transit Users: 5%

By Susannah Snider
March 2011

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