Johnson Citians have a short commute to work

Robert Houk • Jun 26, 2019 at 7:00 PM

A recent study finds Johnson City residents have one of the shortest average travel times to work in the state. The city is ranked eighth — at 17.4 minutes — on a list of 10 ZIP codes in Tennessee with the shortest daily commutes.

Meanwhile, residents in Butler — the 37640 ZIP code — have one of the longest travel times to work. The Johnson County community is ranked eighth of the 10 longest commutes in Tennessee with an average of 34.2 minutes.

UnitedStatesZipCodes.org, which authored the study based on data from U.S. Census Bureau broken down by ZIP codes, found the average daily commute time in Tennessee is 25.1 minutes. Residents who live in the 37212 ZIP code of Nashville is listed as having the shortest commute time in the state at 15.1 minutes.

Matthew Cobb, chief technical officer for UnitedStatesZipCodes.org, said Johnson City’s recent ranking is from sample data the Census Bureau has collected from residents of the 37601 ZIP code. The city dropped from its third-place ranking last year to the eighth spot.

Cobb said the commute rankings offer another reference point for residents to compare communities.

“With these rankings you can see the shortest and longest commutes,” he said. “It provides some context.”

Martin, the 38237 ZIP code, was ranked second on the list of shortest travel times at 16.7 minutes, followed by the 37204 ZIP code of Nashville at 16.8 minutes and Memphis’ 38120 ZIP code at 17.2 minutes.

Other top rankings of the report lists Chattanooga, 37405, with the ninth-shortest commute at 17.5 minutes and Cleveland, 37311, in 10th at 17.7 minutes. The 37664 ZIP code area of Kingsport comes in at 14th on the list of shortest commute at 18.8 minutes, while the 37615 ZIP code of Johnson City/Gray is ranked in the 23rd spot.

The longest commute cited in the report is for the Drummonds area in West Tennessee, where Tipton County residents in the 38023 ZIP code travel an average of 40.1 minutes to get to work.

Bob Cantler, who is set to begin his role as the new president and CEO of the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce on Monday, said commute data is very telling in terms of evaluating where communities are growing.

“The traffic patterns tell us of where people live, work and shop,” Cantler said Wednesday.