By Reg Chapman


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — How much time did you spend sitting in traffic today? New data from the U.S. Census Bureau says the average commute time in Minnesota is on the rise.

Nobody like sitting in traffic but, according to the Census figures, Minnesotans are spending more time behind the wheel. Minnesota’s average commute time to work has increased 1.3 percent to just under 24 minutes.

The report also broke down average reported commute times by ZIP code.

The Minnesota ZIP codes with the lowest commute times are near Morris (10 minutes), International Falls (11.7 minutes), Marshall (12.4 minutes), Wheaton (12.8 minutes), and Duluth’s Endion neighborhood (13.3 minutes).

The longest average commute times were reported in ZIP codes near Isanti (37.4 minutes), Stanchfield (37.4 minutes), Zimmerman (37), Ogilvie (36.6 minutes) and Cedar (35 minutes).

“We understand that (as) part of what goes with living in a large thriving urban area,” Metro Transit spokesperson Howie Padilla said. “At Metro Transit, what we know is its our job to get people around as quickly as possible.”

Padilla says fast, frequent options make a difference in commute times.

“We look at our rail lines that broke records the last two years, and we look at the A line — which comes every ten minutes and has increased ridership in that Snelling and Ford Parkway corridor by 33 percent since its been around,” Padilla said.

David Scheper lives in Burnsville, his drive takes him 35 minutes, he said. His friend Phillip Phan, who lives in Bloomington, said his takes about 20 to 25 minutes. Both said there are variables connected to their commute — weather, lack of parking, and construction all add time to their travels. Both say they prefer to let transit do the driving.

Minneapolis ranked the third most transit-friendly city, with 31 percent of commuters using transit to get to their jobs in 30 minutes or less, something Metro Transit says it is proud of.

“We give hundreds of thousands a rides a day. Put half of those people in cars, how much congestion are you going to have there? We help all of our communities that we serve,” Padilla said.

Reg Chapman

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