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Commuting From Cedar Falls, Iowa

Living in Cedar Falls, Iowa, you have access to a growing job market, ample parks and green spaces, quality education, and numerous local attractions, amusements, endless events and activities, and amenities.

Because of the city's central location in Black Hawk County, you also can take advantage of other nearby metropolises and the industries and points of interest they provide. From Waterloo to Des Moines and even Chicago and the Twin Cities, traveling outside of Cedar Falls for your job or a fun day trip with friends or family is a relatively easy process.

Parking | Cedar Falls, IA

What is the Commute Like from Cedar Falls?

The city of Cedar Falls, which is part of the greater Cedar Valley area, is connected to neighboring Waterloo and the southeastern part of Iowa via Interstate Highway 380 (I-380), which links up to Interstate Highway 80 (I-80). The major mode of transportation between Cedar Falls and the adjacent area is by car or bus. However, when your trip requires airline service, you also have easy access to the Waterloo Regional Airport.

Commuting to Waterloo

As Waterloo and Cedar Falls are located within the same metro area—Waterloo is about eight miles southeast of Cedar Falls—it’s easy to get around by driving or using public transportation. The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Black Hawk County, marketed as MET Transit, is the primary provider of mass transportation within these cities. The MET offers fixed route service between the hours of 5:45 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:15 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. Saturday. Bus fare is only a couple dollars or you can purchase a 30-day pass for unlimited rides on fixed routes. The cities are close enough that you can grab a taxi, Uber, or Lyft at any time of the day.

Commuting to Cedar Rapids

The quickest route between Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is via I-380 South. Travel time is typically about an hour over the roughly 62-mile stretch if you’re driving by car. There is no direct bus that commutes between Cedar Rapids and Cedar Falls, but you can still use the MET and transfer buses in Waterloo. The entire trip by bus—including transfer time—usually takes about two hours and 20 minutes. The cost is between $20 to $30 based on the time and day. Burlington Trailways also offers mass transportation between major cities in the state of Iowa.

Commuting to Iowa City

If you need to get to Iowa City for work or pleasure, the travel time is generally about one and a half hours. In terms of distance, it’s about 90 miles in the southwest direction, past Cedar Rapids. There are two bus routes, the first of which incorporates various transfers between the MET, the 380 Express, and Cedar Rapids Public Transit Line 7. The other route includes a connection between the MET and Burlington Trailways. Either way, you’re looking at about four to five hours of travel time, including transfers. The cost for public transportation ranges from about $30 to $50.


Living in Cedar Falls, Iowa

Robust public transportation and easy commutes to neighboring cities are only a few perks of living in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The city—which has a population of about 40,000, according to the 2010 census—is also known for its natural attractions, such as parks and trails; historic landmarks; and vibrant downtown district.

Cedar Falls Schools

Education also influences the demographic of Cedar Falls, which includes a significant number of students and young professionals. Cedar Falls is home to the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), one of the three public universities in the state. Undergraduate enrollment at the university averages about 10,000 per year. UNI offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of study areas, including business, education, the natural sciences, humanities, fine arts, and the social and behavioral sciences. Thanks to the university, residents of Cedar Falls can also enjoy an array of collegiate sporting events featuring the UNI Panthers.

In terms of K-12 education, Cedar Falls Community School District services a majority of the city and includes Cedar Falls High School, two junior high schools, and seven elementary schools. The Waterloo Community School District also provides public education for a small portion of Cedar Falls residents. If you are interested in private education for your children, there are two faith-centric schools to consider: Valley Lutheran High School and a private Catholic elementary school run by the St. Patrick Catholic Church. Waterloo offers other private school options as well.


Types of Jobs in Cedar Falls, Iowa

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls metro area also boasts a burgeoning job market, which was recognized in 2018 as one of the top 10 areas for employment in the nation. The ranking was based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, including local wage increases and unemployment rates.

Manufacturing has traditionally been the backbone of the economy in Cedar Valley and Northeast Iowa, constituting the largest segment of the workforce and having deep roots in the area's heritage and culture. About 13% of the total labor market in the Cedar Valley Region is employed in the manufacturing field, which is helped along by ample available industrial space and local incentives that reduce start-up expenses. UNI offers degrees in advanced manufacturing and industrial technology, while Kirkwood and Hawkeye community colleges also offer programs focused on manufacturing.

Some of the other main industries in Cedar Falls include logistics and information technology (IT) and data centers. Cedar Valley’s convenient location within a day’s drive of many large midwestern markets—including Chicago, Twin Cities, and Kansas City—increases it popularity when large companies are doing site selection.

Finally, industries such as food processing and agri-based biotechnology also provide a healthy portion of the jobs in Cedar Falls, Iowa.


Renovating Your Home in Cedar Falls, Iowa

As a homeowner in Cedar Falls or the surrounding Cedar Valley area, there is a lot to keep your family occupied, from work and school to traveling to neighbor communities for various activities and events. If you're wondering How to Choose the Right Contractor in Cedar Falls, look no further. When it comes to remodeling your Cedar Falls home, Home Indeed can save you time and stress by handling the project for you. With our seamless design-build process and 3,600-square-foot showroom, we make upgrading or expanding your home efficient and even enjoyable so you can focus your time and attention on other important parts of your life. 

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