More U.S. Workers Leaving Home Earlier, Facing Longer Commutes

More and more U.S. commuters are leaving home earlier, traveling farther and driving alone, says an analysis of commuting trends reported Monday.

The "Commuting in America" study by the Transportation Research Board also found that more commuters are traveling from suburb to suburb — rather than the traditional commute from suburb to city.

"As more employers move out of cities to be closer to skilled suburban workers, the suburbs now account for the majority of job destinations," the report noted.

The board, part of the National Academies, has analyzed commuting trends since 1986, largely using Census data.

According to the latest analysis, the number of new solo drivers grew by almost 13 million from 1990 to 2000. The number of workers with commutes lasting more than 60 minutes grew by almost 50 percent over that period. And, compared with the previous decade, more Americans are leaving for work between 5 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.

More than 4 million people now work from home, and a growing number of those over age 55 are doing so, the report said, a trend that is expected to continue.