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Share of Boston supercommuters jumped 50.1 percent from 2006 to 2016: Report

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Housing costs drove increase

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The share of Boston-area commuters who travel more than 90 minutes to and from work increased 50.1 percent, to 3.5 percent of all commuters, from 2005 to 2016, according to a new analysis from real estate research site Apartment List.

In 2016, 85,809 Boston-area workers were enduring the 90-minute-one-way slogs known as supercommutes—more than three times the length of a regular commute.

The prime cause of the spike in supercommuters was the relentless rise in housing costs as workers moved farther and farther away from core commercial districts in search of less expensive homes.

Compounding the misery of these supercommuters was that they were likelier than those with regular commutes to rely on public transportation, including the delay-plagued T. In the Boston area, 79.7 percent of non-supercommuters drove to work in 2016, while 63.7 percent of supercommuters did.

What’s more, lower-income workers comprised a disproportionate share of these supercommuters who rely on public transportation, per Apartment List.

Finally, there is little sign that the trend in more Boston-area residents supercommuting reversed itself during 2017 or the start of 2018—far from it.