Richmond ranks #4 on best cities for commuters list

By Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) –  We've all sat in traffic staring at the clock wishing the cars would move, so Richmond's new ranking may come as a surprise.  The area has been named one of the top five best cities for commuters.

According to, we got the number four spot in the country.  Everything from how far you drive, how long you're in the car, how much you pay for gas and how close you are to major highways factored into the ranking.

From Henrico to Richmond to Chesterfield, we see everything from brake lights as far as the eye can see to traffic flowing freely.  That's why NBC12 got mixed reactions to the area's high ranking of the best cities for commuters in the entire country.

Richmond is pretty comparable when it comes to average commute times and lengths versus the rest of the country.  We win out, though, when it comes to gas prices and the amount of fuel wasted per commuter.

We timed a possible commute for an average state worker, from downtown Richmond to Brandermill in Chesterfield County.  In rush hour traffic, the commute was about 18 miles and took 34 minutes.  We paid more than $2 in tolls and had we not had an easy pass, it would have taken us even longer.

Cheryl Ayres, who takes that same commute each day, said we did pretty well.

"I do get stuck in traffic almost every day, a lot of brake lights," she explained.

John Boyle, however, feels lucky. He has the perspective of a commute to Northern Virginia in the rear view mirror.

"Could be anywhere from two and a half to six hours depending on traffic," he said.  "It's 20 minutes now."

Rochester, New York tops the list, while the Hartford, Connecticut area came in at ten.  The cities on the list all have populations of at least one million.  Not surprisingly, Washington, DC didn't make the cut.

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