One of the big headlines in the commuting world before 2020 was the rise of the super commute. People traveling more than 90 minutes to work, one-way, had grown by more than 30 percent since 2005. Work-from-home changed that — or so we thought.
A report from Apartment List shows super commuting is back and more prevalent than ever before. According to the report:
- 6 million people commute more than 90 minutes each way.
- Urban cities are the main areas for super commuting.
- One of three super commuters are from either New York City, Los Angeles, or San Francisco.
- 50 percent of super commuters live within a 30-mile radius of their central commercial district.
- Public transit riders are five times more likely to be super commuters than drivers.
How to handle the new wave of super commuting
While no one has a silver-bullet solution to solve this problem, there are a few things the government, businesses, and commuters can do to reduce the number of super commuters. Remote work likely won’t solve the problem because real estate costs, including rent, have skyrocketed during the pandemic. People will still have to live far away from their jobs if they are commuting to the office.
Commuter benefits can have a significant impact on super commuters. With employees saving up to $270 tax-free every month in their paychecks for commuting costs, this can help get more people out of cars and onto public transit. If people are driving, they can still utilize commuter benefits to pay for qualified parking costs.
There’s also Edenred’s new Transit and Parking Flex program. People who accumulated high balances on their pre-tax commuter transit accounts during the pandemic can tap into that balance to be used interchangeably for transit and parking since the IRS has not allowed refunds.
Apartment List recommends that the United States rethink its urban areas, so new housing is created around an enticing public transit system for commuters.
Are you interested in adding commuter benefits to your benefits package? Book a meeting with us so we can help find the best option for you.