A handful of drivers in the York County area say their commute time is a little longer than the latest U.S. Census Bureaus data released late last month.
According to the 2015 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, the mean commute time for York County drivers is 26.2 minutes, while nearby Mecklenburg County is 25.3.
The South Carolina average commute time is a couple minutes shorter, 24.2 minutes and North Carolina is 24.3 minutes, according to the data.
But talk to commuters, and they say driver time crossing the Carolina border -- either way -- could be longer.
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Diane Kuiper of Lake Wylie and branch leader with Allen Tate, said it takes her about 45 minutes to an hour to get to the Ballantyne office in Charlotte during the morning commute, or about 1 hour and 10 minutes to get to the Indian Land office.
Kuiper has been making the drive for three years, and says it’s worth it.
“I’m not willing to give up the place I love to live or the place I love to work, so I make the drive,” she said.
She said living in South Carolina is beneficial, with lower gas price and lower taxes.
“It’s a fairly easy commute,” she said. “I can catch up on phone calls or unwind.”
Matthew Nance of Clover works on Westinghouse Boulevard. He said he lived in Charlotte but decided the 30 minute commute was better than being close to the office.
“It’s more expensive to live in Charlotte,” he said. “I was living near Siemens, and rent was just as much as mortgage, so we moved to Clover to get a house. And the commute is just something I have to do.”
Other South Carolinians agree, while it’s nice to work in Charlotte, they prefer the Palmetto State.
Eric Hillman said when he moved to the Carolinas in 1983, he lived in Charlotte. Now he lives in Tega Cay, where he has made a 45 minute commute for 20-plus years traveling to Westinghouse Boulevard, getting off Interstate 77 at Exit 1.
“I just love living in South Carolina. I like the school system down here, I like the lake living and benefits of South Caroline,” said Eric Hillman of Tega Cay.
Reverse commuters, like Ben Whitlock, who for a year and half travels from the Cotswold area of Charlotte to work in Fort Mill said it takes him about 35 minutes to travel the 18-20 miles.
“I would prefer to stay in North Carolina,” he said. “I just have to come down for my job, that’s the only thing that drives me down here.”
Nationally, the Census data showed the county with the longest commute time of 44 minutes is Pike County in Pennsylvania, which borders New Jersey and New York. The shortest commute of 4.9 minutes is in Aleutians East Borough, Alaska.
Laura Edwards, a native of Charlotte who lives in Fort Mill, is content with her 17 mile commute. She says it takes 30 minutes on a good day, or an hour on a bad one.
“But it’s worth it. I like living here,” she said. “ I love having the best of both worlds. It’s a little bit slower pace here, but it’s also close enough to Charlotte that I can get to everything.”
Catherine Muccigrosso: 803-329-4069