Oct 27, 2022 - News

Commute time slightly down from pre-pandemic levels

Animation of a briefcase-shaped traffic light cycling through red to green

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic shaved a few minutes off your drive to and from work.

Driving the news: The average one-way commute in Columbus was 1.3 minutes shorter in 2021 compared with 2019, per the latest census data.

  • That's 13 minutes in a five-day work week, or more than 11 hours per year.

The big picture: More people working from home and fewer commuting by car have reshaped the traditional office back-and-forth.

  • A record 23% of workers age 16 and older in our metro area worked from home in 2021, compared with just 5% in 2019.
  • Nearly 15% of Ohioans primarily worked remotely in 2021, up from about 5% in 2019.

The big picture: Traffic congestion is down about 27% across major U.S. cities' downtowns compared with pre-pandemic levels, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick reports.

  • Nationwide, the average one-way trip to work was two minutes shorter than in 2019, per the census data.

What we're watching: For those who do go back into the office, flexible work arrangements make it easier to avoid rush hour and cut back on commuting stress, Adam Kamins of research firm Moody's Analytics tells Axios.

💭 Our thought bubble: We've been contributing to shorter commutes by working remotely since our launch in September of 2021. You're welcome!

Go deeper: The number of people working remotely tripled during COVID


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