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U.S. Census reveals Washington State’s mega-commutes

Traffic flows into and out of Spokane last month on Interstate 90. (Jesse Tinsley)
Traffic flows into and out of Spokane last month on Interstate 90. (Jesse Tinsley)

The U.S. Census Bureau refers to anyone who commutes at least 90 minutes and 50 miles to work as a “mega-commuter”.  A study released by the bureau found that nearly 600,000 road-hardened Americans qualify for the designation – about one in 122 full-time workers.  These brave souls spend a horrific amount of time each day trapped in a car, train or bus to make their daily dollar. 

WNYC News used the report’s findings to create an interactive map detailing the nation’s average commute times by zip-code.  Washington State’s grueling mega-commute starting points are detailed below.    

98224 (Baring, WA)

Average Commute:  60.8 minutes

+/- 22.7 minutes      

98220 (Acme, WA)

Average Commute: 50.3 minutes

+/- 14 minutes

98340 (Hansville, WA)

Average Commute: 46 minutes

+/- 8.6 minutes

98349 (Lakebay, WA)

Average Commute: 47.7 minutes

+/- 3.6 minutes

98560 (Matlock, WA)

Average Commute: 51 minutes

+/- 22.3 minutes

98621 (Grays River, WA)

Average Commute: 47.3 minutes

+/- 13.6 minutes

98814 (Carlton, WA)

Average Commute: 53.6 minutes

+/- 52.4 minutes

99018 (Latah, WA)

Average Commute: 46.4 minutes

+/- 15.2 minutes

In keeping with the national trend Washington’s longest commutes begin in less-populated communities and move towards larger metropolitan areas.  Bearing in mind the average one-way daily commute in the U.S. is 25.5 minutes the commute times listed above are horrendous to say the least.   

The U.S. Census Bureau found that mega commuters were more likely to be male (75.4 percent), older, married, make a higher salary and have a spouse who does not work. Perhaps least surprising, they were also more likely to leave for work prior to 6 a.m. 


U.S. Census Bureau   



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