Over at the New York Times’ Economix blog, Catherine Rampell digs up an unexpected chart showing that Americans enjoy some of the shortest commutes in the developed world. As much as we might hate our grinding trips to the office, we have it easy compared to Italy or Japan:


A lot also depends on whether a person drives or takes public transportation. The Department of Transportation found that, in 2009, commutes by private car took, on average, 23 minutes. Public transportation, by contrast, took an average of 53 minutes. You could read that as an argument that more people should drive so that their commutes are shorter or as an argument that we need to bolster public transportation.