BUSINESS
03/22/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

America's Worst Commutes: Examining The Daily Beast's List

With 686 hours of weekly bottleneck congestion, the Hollywood Freeway in Los Angeles is the worst commute in America, according to a new ranking by The Daily Beast.

Compared to past attempts to rank the most torturous commutes, the Daily Beast's "America's 75 Worst Commutes" is fairly rigorous and data-filled. Here is the site's description of its methodology, which draws data from traffic information firm INRIX:

Our first step was ranking the metropolitan areas with the worst rush-hour congestion. The order is based on the peak hour Travel Time Index (TTI) for the metropolitan area each highway is in. TTI is a measure of how much longer it takes to complete a road journey during peak congestion hours compared to free-flow hours. (Peak hours are defined as 6 a.m. to 10a.m., and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) Speeds during non-peak hours are used by INRIX to establish this free-flow baseline.

But, with all due respect to The Daily Beast's list, determining the longest and most intolerable commutes is an imperfect science (measuring suffering, after all, is subjective). For one, in September, the U.S. Census Bureau determined that in 2008 the longest commute in the nation was endured by residents of East Stroudsburg, Penn., who averaged a 40.6-minute trek to and from work. Washington, D.C. and Chicago also fared particularly poorly.

In 2008 Forbes, using its own methodology, ranked Atlanta as the worst city for commuters. Separately, Forbes ranked Linton Hall, Virginia as the worst small town in America for commuters, with an average commute time of 46.3 minutes.

The potential surprises on The Daily Beast's list include Bridgeport, Connecticut, ranked eighth worst, which was described as "downright horrible"; New York City's Cross Bronx Expressway, which ranked sixth; and even Honolulu's Lunalilo Freeway, which finished second.

Check out the full list of America's 75 Worst Commutes here.

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