Surprise! Boston Ranks #1 for Traffic
Traffic. Boston is notorious for it, and in one traffic scorecard (INRIX) – Boston ranks #1 for traffic in the US with 164 hours lost in congestion. That’s equates to wasting nearly 7 days of your life in one year.
Yet, according to bostonindicators.com, as housing costs have skyrocketed in the region’s inner core, more people have been forced to live further away from jobs, making them more dependent than ever on having a reliable transportation system. And, “reliable,” the system is not.
As an example, the Fairmount Corridor of Boston, passing southwest through Dorchester, Mattapan, and Hyde Park, provides substantially longer commutes for residents there than people elsewhere in the region who may live much further from work. On the north shore, other neighborhoods are experiencing surprisingly long commute times – including the cities of Chelsea and Everett, served by the MBTA’s third busiest bus route (the 111).
So, what about the traffic in Boston and the surrounding neighborhoods? There is hopeful news to share. According to the article – thanks to the efforts of local communities and groups organizing for change, transportation officials have taken action to improve transit operations by building new commuter rail stops, running more frequent trains and charging subway-level fares. In the case of Chelsea, the MBTA has extended the Silver Line bus service to help alleviate travel times.
Rising housing costs will continue to drive this increase, as workers need to move further from the city in order to afford their lifestyles. In exchange, comes longer commutes. It is up to homebuyers to calculate what their time is worth, and how much are they really saving by moving further from the city. 164 wasted hours also comes with a cost, and that’s something commuters will have a long time, in the car or on the train, to think about.