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North Salem, How Long Is Your Commute?

The U.S. Census Bureau found New Yorkers had the highest number of long commutes in the nation.
The U.S. Census Bureau found New Yorkers had the highest number of long commutes in the nation. Photo Credit: Katherine Pacchiana

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - North Salem’s Katharine Bolender drives three miles from her house to Salem Center, but Larry Goodwin reports that his commute via Metro-North and the New York City subway takes two hours each way.

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released figures showing that the national average for a one-way daily commute is 25.5 minutes. One in four commuters travels to another county for employment.

Nearly 2 percent of the workforce travels an hour or more in one direction. About 4.5 percent work at home. New York State has the highest rate of long commutes, according to the bureau’s report, and New York City has the highest percentage of workers traveling to another county.

“The average travel time for workers who commute by public transportation is higher than that of workers who use other modes,” said Brian McKenzie of the Census Bureau. “For some workers, using public transit is a necessity, but others simply choose a longer travel time over sitting in traffic.”

Train commuters usually go to Goldens Bridge, Purdys or Croton Falls to catch a Metro-North train, but parking space is precious at practically every station.

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