New Jersey drivers know all too well the frustration of an unending stretch of stationary red taillights on what should be a 65 mph highway. From the Parkway to the Turnpike and all major highways in between, long commute times are a part of life in the most densely populated state in the nation.
New Jersey residents rank third worst for commute times in the United States, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The average commute time in the Garden State was 28.6 minutes in 2021, according to the U.S. Census. Only drivers in New York (31.4 minutes) and Maryland (29.3 minutes) have it worse.
New Jersey has historically had some of the longest commute times in the U.S. in part, because of its proximity to cities like New York, and because of its public transportation system, said James W. Hughes, Dean Emeritus at the Rutgers Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.
“So getting into New York City, by car by bus by rail, is probably if it’s under an hour, you’d be very lucky to do that,” Hughes said.