Super commuter

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A super commuter is a person who works in the central county or downtown core of a metropolitan area and resides outside that metropolitan area.[1]

In major North American and European cities, housing prices downtown are so high that some workers can only afford to live in smaller cities or towns outside the city where they work. Super commuters travel long distances, either daily, or once or twice a week between home and workplace either by air, rail, bus, and sometimes also by car, or a combination of modes.[2]:1 Often, super commuters spend most of the work week in the city their office is based, returning home on weekends.

Super commuters are generally younger in age than average workers, and tend to be from a middle class background.[1][3] They are not elite business travellers; they try to cut their costs by taking benefit of higher wages in one region and lower housing and transportation costs in the smaller city they come from.

A 2012 study by New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management showed that Manhattan alone has existing population of 59,000 super commuters.[4] According to studies conducted in NYU there is great upsurge in this trend and 8 out of 10 of the major metropolitan areas in the U.S show similar findings.

Megan Bearce, a marriage and family therapist and author of the book named “Super Commuter Couples: Staying Together When A Job Keeps You Apart[5] refers that there were an estimated 3.42 million full time workers who were super commuters in 2012 in the U.S The phenomenon has been getting increasing coverage on media.[6] [7] [8] [9] With the surge in demand, businesses are starting to cover the supply; recently, a travel company has claimed that it is going to provide services to super commuters to make their life easier.[10]

Impact on personal and social life[edit]

In a study in Netherlands on commuter couples where 60 of such couples were sampled and interviewed it was revealed that 30 of those agreed with each other on the fact that they had no other choice than to live in dual locations.[11] Their experience stated that they had no other realistic solution at the time when they decided to live in commuter partnership with each other. Another study suggests that learning to adjust to quirks of commuting and managing stress with a partner might be a mandatory bump in the road to success.[12]


  1. ^ a b Mitchell L. Moss and Carson Qing, The Emergence of the “Super-Commuter”, Feb 2012, Rudin Center for Transportation New York University Wagner School of Public Service, see PDF file, Last Accessed Sept 26 2016
  2. ^ Dougherty, Conor; Burton, Andrew (2017-08-17). "A 2:15 Alarm, 2 Trains and a Bus Get Her to Work by 7 A.M. - Like many in the housing-starved San Francisco region, Sheila James has moved far inland, gaining affordable space at the price of a brutal commute". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2017-09-20. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  3. ^ Andrew Nusca,”Are you a super commuter”?, ZD Net, Mar 5 2015, Last Accessed Sept 26 2016
  4. ^ Mackenzie Dawson, ”Good for your career, bad for your life” Aug 23 2014, Market watch, Last Accessed Sept 26 2016
  5. ^ Megan Bearce, ”Super commuter couples, staying together when a job keeps you apart” Link to Author's webpage containing more material on super commuters Link to Amazon Website, 2012, Last Accessed Sept 26 2016
  6. ^ Ian Mount, "Here’s why super-commuters are traveling five hours to work" Fortune, Sept 16 2015, Last Accessed Sept 26 2016
  7. ^ Rob Budden, "The Brave World of Super Commuters, BBC, Nov 19 2014, Last Accessed Sept 26 2016
  8. ^ Marisa Torrieri 'I Take A Plane To Work': The Rise Of Super-Commuting", Forbes, Aug 21 2013, Last Accessed August 10, 2016
  9. ^ Adam Walker "Danish or Dan-ish: The life of a European super commuter", The Local DK, Jun 21 2016, Last Accessed Sept 26 2016
  10. ^ Super Commuter Blog post, Aug 29 2016, Last Accessed Sept 26 2016
  11. ^ Marjolijn van der Klis Æ Clara H. Mulder, "Beyond the trailing spouse: the commuter partnership as an alternative to family migration", Feb 2009, J House and the Built Environ (2008) 23:1–19 DOI 10.1007/s10901-007-9096-3
  12. ^ 17 Anna Williams, ”Your commute could be bad for your marriage”, LearnVest, Aug 13 2015, Learn Vest, Last Accessed Sept 26 2016.