Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Super Commuting

A new report from NYU's Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management details the rise of the "super commuter" - someone who commutes from one metropolitan area to another. The report is summarized in an article in the Atlantic Cities. This map shows "non-local labor sheds" for major U. S. cities.

The stars are the commuting destinations while the graduated circles represent the home areas of commuters from outside the region. I like the gratuitous inclusion of Puerto Rico at the bottom right of these maps.

According to the study, these commuters tend to be younger people with modest incomes and may be making these commutes to take advantage of more affordable housing. Many of them probably don't need to show up in the office more than a couple of times a week. Two of the top super commutes are Houston to Dallas and Dallas to Houston. Sounds like a recipe for a house swap reality show.

I grabbed this image directly from the report as a typical detail of one of these areas - in this case Chicago.

 The darker reds represent larger percentage increases. While Detroit had the largest percentage increase, it is still coming from a much smaller number of actual commuters,. Cities such as Champaign and Saint Louis had higher absolute increases. I don't know why Milwaukee is so much smaller than the other cities when it is so close by - better job market there?

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