Study shows how commutes have gotten longer for Harris County drivers

Thursday, September 17, 2020
Commuters driving farther for work, study shows
Press play to hear more about a new study that found that people value affordable housing over the hectic and costly commute to work amid the pandemic.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A new study has shown that people are moving farther away from their jobs in order to find affordable housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the key findings from the report by Rice University's Kinder Institute for Urban Research is the increasing distance between where Harris County residents live and where they work, which results in growing transportation costs for households.

The linear distance increased for every income level, whether low, middle or high, according to the study.

For low-wage workers, the median distance traveled increased from 10.08 miles in 2010 to 10.28 miles in 2017. With less disposable income, a longer commute has a more significant impact for people in this category.

According to the study, the average Harris County household spends a combined 47% of their income on housing and transportation.

The Kinder Institute released its inaugural 2020 State of Housing in Harris County and Houston report earlier this summer.