Travel Time to Work

Travel time to work measures the average amount of time, in minutes, it takes for an individual to commute to work. Long commute times are often associated with health-related behaviors such as lack of physical activity, unhealthy diets, and sleep deprivation; and health outcomes such obesity, asthma, stress, exhaustion, low self-rated health, absence from work, and physical ailments such as back pain, as well as less time for leisure activities. Long auto commutes also contributes to traffic congestion and air pollution. Featured under employment opportunities, travel time to work is also linked to transportation services , housing, employment, economic health, health systems and public safety, social cohesion, neighborhood characteristics domains. Additionally, although some individuals may equate long commutes to positive impacts such as time to read the paper, complete work, or have “downtime” between work and home, the HCAT considers this indicator an “inverse” measure, i.e., the higher the commute time, the negative the impact on the neighborhood. Travel time to work data is available from the U.S. Census.

Neighborhoodsort descending Indicator Value Rank
Blackstone 22.6 17
Charles 24.3 24
College Hill 17.9 1
Downtown 19.3 3
Elmhurst 20.1 6
Elmwood 21.2 7
Federal Hill 22.7 19
Fox Point 19.4 4
Hartford 24 22
Hope 26.8 25
Lower South Providence 21.2 7
Manton 22.4 15
Mount Hope 22.1 12
Mount Pleasant 19.9 5
Olneyville 23.7 21
Reservoir 22.3 14
Silver Lake 24.2 23
Smith Hill 21.7 11
South Elmwood 22.6 17
Upper South Providence 21.2 7
Valley 23.3 20
Wanskuck 22.1 12
Washington Park 21.5 10
Wayland 18.4 2
West End 22.5 16

Key Citations:
1. American Community Survey (ACS), 2011. U.S. Census Bureau.
2. An, Jane, et al. “Issue Brief #9 Exploring the Social Determinants of Health; Work, Workplaces and Health” (2011). Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
3. Cervero, Robert and Michael Duncan. “Which Reduces Vehicle Travel More: Jobs-Housing Balance or Retail-Housing Mixing?” (2008). Journal of the American Planning Association.
4. Christian, Thomas J. “Trade-offs Between Commuting Time and Health-Related Activities” (2012). Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine.
5. McConnell, Rob, et al. “Asthma and School Commuting Time” (2010). Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
6. National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), 2009. U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.
7. Redmond, Lothlorien S. and Patricia L. Mokhtarian. “The positive utility of the commute: modeling ideal commute time and relative desired commute amount” (2001) Transportation, Kluwer Academic Publishers.