Here in Bensonhurst, we love to complain about the N line. We protested when its stations were collapsing from decades of decay and neglect, and now that eight uptown platforms have been shut down by the Metropolitan Transit Authority, we grumble over the fact that our work commutes have been hijacked.
Validation for our transportation woes comes in the form of a new study released by the Center for an Urban Future. Bensonhurst was found to among the top 10 neighborhoods with the longest daily commute times in New York City (45 minutes on average), up there with the Rockaways (53 minutes), Brownsville (48 minutes), and Howard Beach (46 minutes), according to the data.
The study, called Fast City, Slow Commute, analyzes work-related travel for New Yorkers in 55 “census-defined” neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. Researchers examined a range of information about commuting, including travel time, where people work, and how they get there.
The report revealed that in all but one New York neighborhood (Greenwich Village/Financial District) commute times generally exceed the national average of 26 minutes.
The long commutes have caused a sea change in how and where New Yorkers work. For instance, more and more residents are choosing to work from home, rather than commit themselves to the rush-hour slog. The number of people working from home rose by 68 percent between 2000 and 2014. In Bensonhurst, only 2.4 percent of neighbors do their work at home, according to the study.
Meanwhile, across the city, New Yorkers are increasingly finding employment in their own borough. In Brooklyn, that number grew by 37 percent between 2000 and 2014.
When it comes to commuting by car, most of neighborhoods with lots of motorists are predictably concentrated in the outskirts of the city: Places like the northern Bronx, eastern Queens, and Staten Island. (The highest percentage of drivers (75.6) is in Staten Island’s South Shore.) About 30 percent of Bensonhurst residents drive to work, according to the findings.
Check out this interactive map from the Center for an Urban Future to see how people prefer getting to work in different New York City neighborhoods.
[Additional reporting by Rachel Silberstein]