Wide racial gap exists on speed of Boston-area commutes

Eric Moskowitz, reporting for the Boston Globe:

Among Greater Boston workers, white commuters who drive have the shortest trips to work — averaging less than 27 minutes each way — and black bus riders the longest, exceeding 46 minutes each way. But a gap exists even among those who take the same mode, with shorter commutes for white workers whether they drive or ride mass transit.

The biggest gap is by bus. Black commuters spend an extra 66 hours a year waiting, riding, and transferring than white bus riders, according to a new analysis from Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy.

Longer commutes aren’t just an inconvenience, either.

The commuting times, calculated from data collected between 2005 and 2009 through the US Census’s American Community Survey, mean black workers spend an average of 80 more minutes a week than their white counterparts navigating the bus system.

“That’s easily a parent-teacher conference, or time to get your household finances in order,” Chang-Diaz said. “That is a very stark reality for people.”

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