Ranking the Worst Commutes in Massachusetts

Written by:
October 7, 2017
Sarah Nichols // Flickr

Ranking the Worst Commutes in Massachusetts

The average Massachusetts commuter spends 29 minutes traveling to work each morning, coming in 11% higher than the national average of 26.1 minutes. For the typical Mass resident, this amounts to over ten days of of travel time per year (for 50 weeks of work). For the venerated “mega-commuters,” those with one-way treks of over 90-minutes, annual time spent journeying to work leaps to over 31 days.

Using data from the recently-released 2016 American Community Survey, Stacker analyzed how daily commutes compared across Massachusetts. Our analysis focused on the state’s 52 Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs), statistical geographic areas with populations of over 100,000. For each area, we ranked by median one-way commute time while including insights into the percentage of commuters with 60+ and 90+ minute journeys.

We begin our list at #52 and push our way to the worst commute in Massachusetts, where nearly one-in-five commuters travel more than an hour one-way and 7.0% make mega-commutes. Read on to see where your area ranked among the longest travel times in the state.

1 / 52
"Holyoke, Massachusetts" by Doug Kerr

#52: Hampden County (West of Springfield)--Westfield & Holyoke

Population: 145,888 (67,091 commuters)

Median commute time: 15 to 19 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 3.5% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 1.3% of all commuters

2 / 52
"Late Day Shadows in Historic Deerfield 02" by smilla4

#51: Franklin & Hampshire (North) Counties

Population: 121,683 (57,907 commuters)

Median commute time: 15 to 19 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 5.3% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 2.8% of all commuters

3 / 52
"Nantucket, Massachusetts" by Jasperdo

#50: Barnstable (East), Dukes & Nantucket Counties--Outer Cape Cod

Population: 113,101 (48,318 commuters)

Median commute time: 15 to 19 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 5.9% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 2.6% of all commuters

4 / 52
"Pittsfield, Massachusetts" by Doug Kerr

#49: Berkshire County--Pittsfield

Population: 126,903 (59,708 commuters)

Median commute time: 15 to 19 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 5.6% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 2.3% of all commuters

5 / 52
"Barnstable, Massachusetts" by Doug Kerr

#48: Barnstable County (West)--Inner Cape Cod & Barnstable

Population: 129,429 (58,440 commuters)

Median commute time: 15 to 19 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 9.1% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 3.8% of all commuters

6 / 52
"Chicopee Public Library (Chicopee, Massachusetts" by cmh2315fl

#47: Hampden County (East of Springfield)--Chicopee

Population: 128,890 (59,149 commuters)

Median commute time: 20 to 24 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 3.8% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 1.2% of all commuters

7 / 52
"Hampden County Courthouse (Springfield, Massachusetts)" by cmh2315fl

#46: Hampden County (Central)--Springfield

Population: 154,079 (61,693 commuters)

Median commute time: 20 to 24 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 4.7% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 0.7% of all commuters

8 / 52
"The Back Bay" by April Killingsworth

#45: Boston City--Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charlestown, East Boston, Central & South End

Population: 156,535 (89,801 commuters)

Median commute time: 20 to 24 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 7.0% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 1.2% of all commuters

9 / 52
"Union Station (Worcester, Massachusetts)" by cmh2315fl

#44: Worcester County (Central)--Worcester

Population: 184,509 (83,822 commuters)

Median commute time: 20 to 24 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 9.5% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 3.0% of all commuters

10 / 52
"USA_Massachusets_Fall_River_Lizzie_Borden_1" by Stewart Robotham

#43: Bristol County (Central)--Fall River & Somerset

Population: 106,176 (44,971 commuters)

Median commute time: 20 to 24 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 9.5% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 3.5% of all commuters

11 / 52
"Lowell, Massachusetts" by Jasperdo

#42: Middlesex County (Far Northeast)--Lowell

Population: 110,572 (54,328 commuters)

Median commute time: 20 to 24 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 9.5% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 2.3% of all commuters

12 / 52
"Lawrence, Massachusetts" by Lei Han

#41: Essex County (Northwest)--Lawrence, Haverhill & Methuen

Population: 193,006 (88,930 commuters)

Median commute time: 20 to 24 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 9.0% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 3.1% of all commuters

13 / 52
"Eastern Middlesex County Second District Court (Waltham, Massachusetts)" by cmh2315fl

#40: Middlesex County--Waltham, Lexington, Burlington, Bedford & Lincoln

Population: 145,978 (73,333 commuters)

Median commute time: 20 to 24 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 8.6% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 1.8% of all commuters

14 / 52
"New Bedford, Massachusetts" by Lee Wright

#39: Bristol County (South)--New Bedford & Fairhaven

Population: 111,986 (48,142 commuters)

Median commute time: 20 to 24 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 10.9% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 5.2% of all commuters

15 / 52
"Apponegansett Friends' Meeting House (1790), Dartmouth Massachusetts, 1990" by Phillip Carter

#38: Bristol (Outside New Bedford) & Plymouth (South) Counties

Population: 107,196 (50,663 commuters)

Median commute time: 20 to 24 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 10.7% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 4.4% of all commuters

16 / 52
"Attleboro, Massachusetts" by Doug Kerr

#37: Attleboro, North Attleborough, Swansea, Seekonk, Rehoboth & Plainville

Population: 130,363 (69,162 commuters)

Median commute time: 20 to 24 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 12.3% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 5.1% of all commuters

17 / 52
"The Town Hall" by Jimmy Emerson, DVM

#36: Peabody, Danvers, Reading, North Reading & Lynnfield

Population: 135,054 (67,350 commuters)

Median commute time: 20 to 24 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 11.7% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 2.1% of all commuters

18 / 52
"Northborough, Massachusetts" by Doug Kerr

#35: Worcester County (East Central)

Population: 124,097 (60,090 commuters)

Median commute time: 20 to 24 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 14.2% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 5.9% of all commuters

19 / 52
"Leominster, Massachusetts" by Doug Kerr

#34: Worcester County (Northeast)--Leominster, Fitchburg & Gardner

Population: 119,643 (57,173 commuters)

Median commute time: 20 to 24 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 14.8% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 4.4% of all commuters

20 / 52
"Salem, Massachusetts" by Doug Kerr

#33: Essex County (East)--Salem, Beverly, Gloucester & Newburyport

Population: 202,512 (98,799 commuters)

Median commute time: 20 to 24 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 20.0% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 4.7% of all commuters

21 / 52
"Plymouth County Courthouse by cmh2315fl

#32: Plymouth County (East)--Plymouth, Marshfield, Scituate, Duxbury & Kingston

Population: 135,760 (64,067 commuters)

Median commute time: 20 to 24 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 21.0% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 6.9% of all commuters

22 / 52
"Northampton, Massachusetts" by 6SN7

#31: Hampden (West & East) & Hampshire (South) Counties--Northampton

Population: 150,125 (70,548 commuters)

Median commute time: 25 to 29 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 6.7% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 2.4% of all commuters

23 / 52
"MIT Stata Center" by Gunnar Klack

#30: Middlesex County (East)--Cambridge

Population: 110,644 (58,382 commuters)

Median commute time: 25 to 29 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 6.6% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 1.2% of all commuters

24 / 52
"garages" by David Salafia

#29: Boston--Allston, Brighton & Fenway

Population: 111,437 (56,015 commuters)

Median commute time: 25 to 29 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 8.9% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 1.6% of all commuters

25 / 52
"abandoned caboose" by Robert Fuhro

#28: Worcester County (West Central)

Population: 121,122 (56,723 commuters)

Median commute time: 25 to 29 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 11.8% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 3.7% of all commuters

26 / 52
"Webster, Massachusetts" by Doug Kerr

#27: Worcester County (South)

Population: 156,649 (76,845 commuters)

Median commute time: 25 to 29 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 13.2% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 2.5% of all commuters

27 / 52
"OK, not really flat. But weird!" by nsub1

#26: Woburn, Melrose, Saugus, Wakefield & Stoneham

Population: 142,821 (75,296 commuters)

Median commute time: 25 to 29 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 12.9% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 1.5% of all commuters

28 / 52
Jonathan Bowen

#25: Plymouth & Norfolk Counties--Brockton, Stoughton & Avon

Population: 128,723 (60,264 commuters)

Median commute time: 25 to 29 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 15.7% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 3.9% of all commuters

29 / 52
"Billerica, Massachusetts" by Doug Ker

#24: Billerica, Andover, Tewksbury & Wilmington

Population: 131,002 (65,178 commuters)

Median commute time: 25 to 29 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 15.9% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 3.4% of all commuters

30 / 52
"Swampscott Fishermans Beach" by iluvgadgets

#23: Essex County (South)--Lynn, Swampscott & Nahant

Population: 111,590 (51,827 commuters)

Median commute time: 25 to 29 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 16.1% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 4.1% of all commuters

31 / 52
"East Bridgewater, Massachusetts" by Doug Kerr

#22: Plymouth & Bristol Counties (Outside Brockton)

Population: 121,405 (61,569 commuters)

Median commute time: 25 to 29 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 17.1% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 4.6% of all commuters

32 / 52
"DSC_3638_edited-1" by bradford219

#21: Middlesex County--Watertown Town, Arlington, Belmont & Winchester

Population: 129,353 (66,155 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 9.5% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 1.1% of all commuters

33 / 52
"Brookline, Massachusetts" by Claudia Zimmer

#20: Middlesex (Southeast) & Norfolk (Northeast) Counties--Newton & Brookline

Population: 148,172 (69,855 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 8.5% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 1.0% of all commuters

34 / 52
"South Boston, October 21, 2010" by Bill Ilott

#19: Boston--Dorchester & South Boston

Population: 129,231 (74,428 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 10.4% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 2.3% of all commuters

35 / 52
"DSC_4671.JPG" by Chris Devers

#18: Middlesex County (East)--Somerville & Everett

Population: 127,664 (78,653 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 10.1% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 2.7% of all commuters

36 / 52
"Framingham, Massachusetts" by Doug Kerr

#17: Middlesex County (South)--Framingham, Marlborough & Natick

Population: 147,410 (79,256 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 12.1% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 2.4% of all commuters

37 / 52
"Wellesley Town Hall (Wellesley, Massachusetts)" by cmh2315fl

#16: Norfolk (Northeast) & Middlesex (Southeast) Counties (West of Boston)

Population: 113,021 (44,673 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 11.6% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 2.6% of all commuters

38 / 52
"Jamaica Plain, Hyde Square" by Soe Lin

#15: Boston--Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale & West Roxbury

Population: 138,867 (72,717 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 12.4% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 2.6% of all commuters

39 / 52
"Westford, Massachusetts" by Doug Kerr

#14: Middlesex County (Outside Lowell)

Population: 116,351 (59,607 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 14.5% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 4.2% of all commuters

40 / 52
"Taunton, Massachusetts" by Doug Kerr

#13: Bristol County--Taunton, Mansfield, Norton, Raynam, Dighton & Berkley

Population: 122,791 (65,091 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 14.6% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 3.8% of all commuters

41 / 52
"West Concord, Massachusetts" by Doug Kerr

#12: Middlesex (West Central) & Worcester (East) Counties

Population: 127,003 (59,086 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 15.3% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 4.4% of all commuters

42 / 52
"Malden - First Baptist Church" by Michael Femia

#11: Middlesex County (East)--Malden & Medford

Population: 118,043 (63,873 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 15.4% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 3.0% of all commuters

43 / 52
Jonathan Bowen

#10: Norfolk County (Central)--Randolph, Norwood, Dedham, Canton & Holbrook

Population: 120,853 (59,967 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 16.2% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 2.9% of all commuters

44 / 52
"Fitchburg, Massachusetts" by Doug Kerr

#9: Worcester & Middlesex Counties (Outside Leominster, Fitchburg & Gardner)

Population: 111,862 (54,040 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 16.1% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 3.3% of all commuters

45 / 52
"Fort Hill Tower" by Devin Ford

#8: Boston--Mattapan & Roxbury

Population: 136,191 (57,862 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 16.5% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 4.6% of all commuters

46 / 52
"Revere Public Library (Revere, Massachusetts" by cmh2315fl

#7: Suffolk County (North)--Revere, Chelsea & Winthrop

Population: 111,969 (56,696 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 17.2% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 3.6% of all commuters

47 / 52
"Amesbury, Massachusetts" by Doug Kerr

#6: Essex County (Central)--Amesbury

Population: 114,393 (53,337 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 17.9% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 5.0% of all commuters

48 / 52
"Pembroke, Massachusetts" by Doug Kerr

#5: Plymouth County (Central)

Population: 117,321 (60,784 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 19.9% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 7.4% of all commuters

49 / 52
"Weymouth, Massachusetts 02188" by Jimmy Emerson, DVM

#4: Weymouth, Braintree, Hingham, Hull & Cohasset

Population: 135,435 (64,163 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 20.7% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 5.4% of all commuters

50 / 52
"IMG_0758" by WileyCox

#3: Norfolk County (Northeast)--Quincy & Milton

Population: 121,039 (61,960 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 20.5% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 4.8% of all commuters

51 / 52
"Hopkinton, Massachusetts" by Doug Kerr

#2: Middlesex (Far Southwest), Norfolk (Northwest) & Worcester (Far East) Counties

Population: 123,299 (61,923 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 22.3% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 6.2% of all commuters

52 / 52
"Franklin, Massachusetts" by Doug Kerr

#1: Norfolk County (Southwest)--Greater Franklin

Population: 132,739 (65,244 commuters)

Median commute time: 30 to 34 minutes
Over 60 minute commute: 22.8% of all commuters
Over 90 minute commute: 7.0% of all commuters

Trending Now