The Department for Transport of the United Kingdom may be surprised to learn that the average round-trip commute in the nation is up to a quarter hour less than reflected in its reports. This revelation comes from an article in The Economist, ("Life in the Slow Lane") citing a surveyindicating that the average commuter in the United Kingdom spends less than 40 minutes daily traveling to and from work in 2000. According to Regional Transport Statistics, published by the Department for Transport, the average commuter spent 50 minutes traveling to and from work in 2000. The UK government further indicates that the average commute time had risen to 56 minutes by 2009. The Economist relies on the much lower figure (and other similarly low estimates from other European nations) in fashioning an article criticizing transportation policy in the United States.
Transport policy could be improved in the United States, as well as in Europe. However, the starting point must be facts, not fancy, and certainly not envy.
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