Every morning, you wake up and dread that long commute to work.
No matter how many podcasts or Spotify playlists you subscribe to, getting stuck in traffic can genuinely destroy your mood. You're not alone — a 2018 Census Bureau survey found that commuters throughout the country recently spent an extra 17 hours last year, a record high.
A University of the West of England study even found that sitting in mind-numbing traffic can make you as unhappy as getting a pay cut at work.
Public transportation helps alleviate some of the car-fueled congestion, but many residents don't choose to use it due to delays, lack of maintenance or accessibility to their destination.
While you may feel like your city is the absolute worst, we've rounded up the top 10 worst cities for commuters. See if your city made the list.
Philadelphia has one of the most walkable cities in the country, but that doesn't keep it from making the top 10 for the worst cities for commuters. Traffic and lack of infrastructure create major congestion areas in the city.
Boston offers tasty chowder, plenty of unique eats and many interesting neighborhoods to choose from. A one-bedroom apartment can cost you $3,455 per month on average and while it's not easy on your budget, the city has a lot to offer.
But it's also challenging to get around Boston. The T system provides some options for getting around the city, but traffic congestion is at an all-time high. Keep this in mind if you're thinking of moving to the land of Fenway Park and the bar from "Cheers."
You can grab an affordable one-bedroom spot in Pittsburgh for $1,353 a month on average, with Downtown and Southside as the most popular neighborhoods in the city to move to. But with great amenities comes more congestion as Pittsburgh grabs a spot on our worst commuter list.
Interstate 376 often tops the list as a big bottleneck and the city's suboptimal road layouts can't handle high volume traffic. But that shouldn't keep you from the historic city which has much to offer, including the Point State Park, Andy Warhol Museum and a thriving dining scene.
With breweries, donuts and great bookstores, Portland is a dream to visit — until you get stuck in traffic. The west coast city takes the No. 7 spot as one of the worst city for commuters. Studies have shown that the congestion comes from roads that haven't expanded as fast as the newcomers who have moved into the city.
Fortunately, the bike-friendly city offers plenty of opportunities to safely commute on two wheels if you're near the city center. Looking for a great neighborhood to hang your hat? Expect to pay around $1,573 a month on average for a one-bedroom apartment.
On average, Chicago residents wasted 138 hours sitting in bad traffic in 2018. That's almost a whole week. The main point of congestion in Chicago? Its highways. Most specifically, the junction of I-94/I-90 at I-294. Luckily, Chicago is walkable and offers plenty of commuting alternatives with its CTA train and bus service and DIVVY rental bikes.
There are 77 neighborhoods you can choose from when looking for the perfect rental and finding your local pizza spot. The Windy City offers one-bedroom apartments at $1,938 a month on average.
San Francisco is famous for its startup scene, Alcatraz, large hills and unfortunately, also its traffic congestion. While the BART and monorail Muni provide commuters with public transportation options, getting around during rush hour can be difficult as more people move into the city due to its tech scene.
The competition is fierce in the rental industry, with a $3,862 per month average rent for a one-bedroom. Get caffeinated, bid fast and come with your completed application to get the apartment of your dreams in or near the city.
It's no secret that driving in New York City can be a little nuts. Taxi cabs, bike messengers, cars and buses all try to squeeze in the narrow streets of the Big Apple to reach their destination from different boroughs.
While the subway provides alternative transportation across the city, broken trains and ongoing delays cause congestion underground, too. The congestion is real, no matter where you look.
Finding a good apartment in NYC without a sky-high broker or a security deposit can be difficult. A one-bedroom can cost $4,425 a month on average. But the city's many neighborhoods provide incredible history, its own iconic bodegas and proximity to some of the best dining, shopping and parks.
Washington, D.C. has long kept a strong position as one of the country's worst commuter cities. A 20-minute trip often turns into a two-hour frustrating adventure, thanks to peak rush hour, tourists and distracted driving. The average commute time in the nation's capital is 35 minutes, according to a 2018 Census Bureau survey.
Luckily, the Metrorail and Metrobus allow for commuting without a car with connections to the Maryland and Northern Virginia suburbs. If you're thinking of making a move to Washington, D.C., pick up a bike and expect to pay $2,511 a month on average for a one-bedroom apartment.
While Seattle has plenty of transportation options, including the light rail, a robust bus system and streetcar, the city still remains incredibly congested, taking our No. 2 spot. Interstate 5 and its downtown ramps remain clogged during peak hours with more stop than go traffic.
With proximity to the water, hiking opportunities and fresh seafood at your fingerprints, it's hard not to think about Seattle as a viable option to move to. A one-bedroom apartment will cost $2,201 per month on average.
Los Angeles takes the top spot for the worst city for commuters and mind-numbing congestion. The traffic in the city is so detrimental that it directly affects its local economy — it cost the city $9.3 billion in 2018 due to an increase in car accidents, gas usage and time lost.
Of course, Los Angeles makes up for it with its diverse neighborhoods, nearly perfect sunny weather and plenty of outdoor activities and good food. On average, a one-bedroom in the city of angels will set you back $2,899 a month. You can also look to towns near DTLA as an alternative if it doesn't fit your budget.
Did you breathe a sigh of relief after not seeing your city above? Not so fast. Here's the full list of cities ranked by the worst commutes.
|Rank||City||State||Hours Lost In Congestion||Cost Of Congestion (Per Driver)||Gas Price Per Gallon*||Average Monthly Public Transportation Cost||Average 1-BR Rent|
|4||New York City||NY||133||$1,859||$2.770||$127.00||$4,425.76|
To determine the worst cities for commuters, we looked at the 62 U.S. cities featured in INRIX's 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard and ranked them with equal weighting on the following:
Hours lost in congestion and cost of congestion per driver came from the INRIX report, average gas prices came from AAA and are accurate as of Nov. 4, 2019 and the average monthly cost of public transportation came from each respective city's public transportation system and is based on the cost for a monthly inner-city unlimited ride pass on subways, trains or buses.
Cities with the most hours lost in congestion and highest costs for congestion and transportation were determined to be the worst for commuters, while cities with fewer hours lost and lower costs for transportation were deemed to be better for commuters.
The rent information included in this article is based on November 2019 multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com and is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.
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