Queens residents have city’s longest commuting times: Report

By Patrick Donachie

Residents of Jamaica and the Rockaways who commute to work have longer average traveling times than the residents of any neighborhood in the five boroughs, according to a new report from the Center for an Urban Future.

The report, which was released March 31, found that the average commute to work from the Rockaways was 53 minutes, with Jamaica a close second at 51 minutes. These commutes far exceed the national average commute of 26 minutes, the report said.

“Average commutes range from 53 minutes in the Rockaways to 26 minutes in the Financial District and Greenwich Village,” the report stated. “In other words, over the course of a five-day work week, Rockaway residents will spend four hours and 29 minutes more time commuting than those who live in Downtown Manhattan.”

Workers commuting from Bellerose/Rosedale have the third-longest average commute of Queens residents at 47 minutes.

Although Manhattan remains the commuting center for many New Yorkers, most employees who live in the city work in the borough in which they reside. This includes Queens residents, where 41 percent of Queens commuters traveling to a job in the borough. The number of Queens residents who also work in the borough jumped 28 percent from 2000 to 2014. Queens residents are also more likely than the workers of any other borough to travel to a job outside of the city with 13 percent commuting to points beyond the city.

The report also included suggestions about how to alleviate burdensome travel times for city commuters, including alterations to how the Long Island Railroad operates.

“While the MTA operates over 20 LIRR stations in the five boroughs, few New Yorkers use the service because of its high fares and its poor integration with the subway Metrocard,” the report stated. “Reducing fares and integrating payment and transfers within the city could dramatically reduce commutes in transit deserts like northeast and southeast Queens.”

Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdonachie@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.