Tired of congested roadways to and from work? Does rush hour remind you why you work remotely or have you dreaming about a work-from-home role? If so, it’s either time to build up your audiobook collection and learn to love the drive or to give searching for a remote role a real try. Why? Because that highway chaos is about to get a whole lot worse, at least according to the 2019 Urban Mobility Report. The report promises longer commute times for every urban American by 2025.
Longer Commute Times by 2025, Urban Mobility Report Suggests
While a growing economy is good in many ways, a report by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and INRIX claims the economic growth over the last 8-10 years has resulted in increased traffic congestion. Roads and highways in and around urban areas are more crowded than ever and are currently at their highest measured levels in most U.S. cities. To power the vehicles that line these lanes, we spend $8.8 billion for 3.8 billion gallons of gas. That’s a significant amount of American change.
Not only is this roadway issue costing us money—it’s costing us hours and hours of time. According to the study, commuters spend an average of 83 hours each year driving to work in the most congested cities (based on numbers from 2017). Additionally, commuters lose another 54 hours every year due to slower speeds on busy roads. That totals 137 hours lost each year for the average person.
With all the Teslas driving around and organizations embracing remote work, it’s bound to get better, right? Unfortunately not, according to the institute. In fact, it predicts by 2025 there will be a 20% increase from the 2017 numbers in costs related to traffic congestion. Travel speeds resulting from worsening traffic in the 2025 scenario are expected to increase yearly commute times from 54 hours to 62 hours.
What Can We Do?
We may not all be meant for the think tanks working to determine a solution to these longer commute times and increased pollution. However, we can adapt to the situation in a way that is helpful for both ourselves and our neighbors on the road by discussing remote work options with our employers or actively searching for a remote position during our next job move. Remote work has lots of enticing characteristics other than commuting.
Here are just a few of those benefits, in case you haven’t had the pleasure yet of enjoying them:
- Reduced overhead for employers
- Casual dress
- Germ-free workspace (except for your petri-dish kids)
- Access to more top talent for recruiters
- Work-life balance
- Increased employee productivity
- Decreased stress
If virtual work is not an option for you at the moment, you can also do your part to decrease longer commute times by keeping our roads and highways clean, encouraging carpooling, and using public transportation. It’s time for more people to start getting serious about the future of our urban areas.
iStock Photo Credit: Canetti
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