Monday, April 23, 2012


A recent article in the Rockford Register Star (Rockford, IL) stated 13,700 residents of the Rockford area commute to and from Chicago everyday. Given that the population of Rockford is 152,871 according to the 2010 census data that is a pretty substantial number. This data was obtained by the Star from a February 2012 report by the New York University Wagner School of Public Service, titled The Emergence of the “Super-Commuter”

The "Super-Commuter" is defined by the report as someone who works in a central county in one metropolitan area, but lives outside the boundaries of that metropolitan area. These commuters travel via car, bus, air, or train to reach their workplace as many as five days per week.

Looking at the Twin Cities region, it appears the seven county metro area is also attracting supercommuters. The Northstar commuter rail service, and the Northstar Link service offer a public transit option from the Saint Cloud metro area. A proposed bridge in the Oak Park Heights area would provide more roadway capacity between Twin Cities metro highways and Wisconsin. On the other side, Rochester, MN has some workforce pull from the Twin Cities, with Rochester City Lines offering daily service between the two metropolitan regions.

As the workplace continues to evolve and change in the coming years, vehicles become more reliable, and transit systems offer more choices and flexibility, the amount of workers willing to commute great distances will probably continue to grow. Supercommuters have arrived.

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