Morris, Minnesota is Number One!

In shortest commutes, that is.

Add it all up and the best place for commuters in Minnesota is Morris, where the overwhelming majority of those going to work spend 10 minutes or less on the roads, according which used data from the U.S. Census Bureau to determine the cities with the best and worst commutes in all 50 states.

The farming community in western Minnesota came in at No. 1 on the list of shortest one-way commute times followed by International Falls, where the average commute time is 11.7 minutes. Coming in third was Marshall at 12.4 minutes, with Wheaton at 12.8 minutes and Duluth at 13.3 minutes rounding out the top five.

I might skew the data a bit. I’d have to amble slowly, sniff the flowers, and catch a few spiders for it to take ten minutes to cross the street to the university. Some of our faculty live “way out” on the opposite side of town, about as far as you can get and still claim residence in Morris, and they walk or bicycle in about that amount of time to get to work.

I moved here from the Philadelphia suburbs where my commute to work was about an hour and a half each way. That move was about the most pleasant shock I could imagine.


  1. cgilder says

    Long commutes and car-dependency destroys quality of life so much more than most people think. I moved from Austin (pop 850-1.2M depending on what you consider “Austin”), where I spent 2-3hrs a day in the car getting me and the kids to and from school, activities, etc., to Missoula, MT (pop. 80K) three years ago. I now can go days without actually getting into the car and it takes 15 min during rush hour to get to kids ballet, my office on campus, the gym, or the big grocery store. I can walk 10 min to my neighborhood grocery store, or 20 minutes to the natural food store for specialty items. Buses are FREE and cars actually stop to let pedestrians cross streets. I can let my kids visit the farmer’s market, go the park or library, and not panic that some random busybody is going to call child protective services for them being “unsupervised.” (Happened to 2 different friends in Austin when their kids were riding bikes and playing in their suburban neighborhoods!)

    Anyways, all hail the minimal commute. I am a much much happier person now. Morris is probably a little too small for my taste, but your commute sounds perfect!

  2. mastmaker says

    I stayed at a motel in Eureka, NV once. The receptionist recommended a pizza place that was ‘on the other end of town’. It was 2.5 blocks away. Great commute, too!

  3. whheydt says

    One of my uncles–married to my father’s sister–lived in New Jersey and commuted (by train, mostly) into Manhattan (he was VP of Data Processing for New York Telephone). It took 2 hours each way. My father used to ask him if he was being paid for a 12 hour day.

  4. says

    We had our car die on us for about a week and a half this winter (dang polar vortex, batteries die fast), and we were fine, no major problems, no frantic search for alternate transportation. We just walked.

    Walking during a polar vortex event is slightly problematic, but we’ve got warm layers of clothing.

  5. PaulBC says

    I think the town in that Twilight Zone episode also had a very short commute.

  6. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin says a very short commute is to take the TARDIS from somewhere at somewhen to elsewhere at elsewhen; this takes only a few seconds yet can span millions of parsecs and billions of years. However, a lot of running is involved, before and / or after the commute, and each commute tends to different — very different — except for all the running.

  7. gijoel says

    When I was living in Rockhampton for a few months the local radio station would give traffic reports. Invariably they would say that there’s a two minute delay in crossing one of the bridges in Rocky.

  8. springa73 says

    When I used to have a long commute (1.5 hours each way), I kept thinking “this is like having an extra part-time job, except I pay for it instead of getting paid.”

  9. PaulBC says

    @springa73 I just switched from a job with a commute like that. Sometimes I felt like the commute was my job.