Echoing previous rankings—Long Beach as a city faced the 10th worst commute times in the nation earlier this year—the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metro is the sixth-worst area in the nation when it comes to additional commute times for its citizens.
According to data from Inrix, commuters from the region spent an average of 103 extra hours per year in their cars in order to get to work due to congestion. In other words, this is when commuters were not traveling at speed limits and their commute is compounded. Drivers in Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia lose the most time annually to traffic congestion with 149, 145, and 142 hours, respectively.
The newest rankings from Inrix mark a significant drop over the past several years. In a research partnership with Texas A&M that analyzed large metro areas across the past decade, the company found that the citizens Long Beach-Los Angeles-Anaheim metro spent an average of 119 hours in traffic over the past decade, making it the worst in the entire nation in that timeframe.
The effects of heavy commuting are real, even in a place like Southern California where spending time in your car is part of the culture.
The Citizens Budget Commission, a group that focuses on affordability in New York City as compared to other cities, recently released a report that showed that the citizens of Houston faced the same economic punch as those in New York City when taking the costs of commuting into account. It was a blow to Houston’s loud self-advertising about affordability as well as a benefit to what many transportation advocates have been saying: Our commutes are not just adding temporal stress but a deep financial stress that we often dismiss as normal instead of questioning the efficiency of public transit systems.
The city’s economic development office has been working on shifting the number of commuters in an attempt to keep the workforce living and working within the city through its Blueprint plan. The hope? That encouraging pockets of innovation and entrepreneurship, especially in our city’s most marginalized areas, will slowly decrease the number of workers heading to Los Angeles.
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