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Commute Time

Variable Definitions:
Average Commute Time: The average time it takes a worker to travel from his or her home to his or her workplace, measured in minutes

Commute Time 30 Minutes: The percent of workers who have a commute time of half an hour or greater.

Commute Time 1 Hour: The percent of workers who have a commute time of an hour or greater.

American Community Survey, 5 Year Estimates, Table S0801

Years Available:

2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

*Note: Each year of available data shown above is a 5-year estimate, or an average of data collected over a five year period. 5-year estimates are used to increase the reliability of the data at small geographies like neighborhoods and census tracts. The years shown on the NDSC map represent the final year of the five year average (e.g. “2010” represents 2006-2010 data, “2011” represents 2007-2011 data, and so on). For the most impactful comparison of data over time, the ACS recommends comparing non-overlapping years (e.g. 2010-14 with 2015-19).

Why are these variables important to measure?

Average Commute Time
In recent years, drivers in Los Angeles spent more time in traffic than almost any other major city in the world. Long commute times have both monetary costs and physical and mental health costs to individuals. Individuals with longer commutes tend to spend more money on gas and have less time for other leisure or work activities. Traffic and long commutes may cause stress and adverse health effects from remaining sedentary throughout a commute. Long commute times may also be a barrier to employment for families who cannot afford childcare or gas and vehicle expenses.

On a neighborhood level, longer commute times could indicate a lack of access to employment in a neighborhood, or that the employment opportunities in a neighborhood and the skill sets of residents are not compatible.

“INRIX 2015 Traffic Scorecard Sets Benchmark for U.S. Cities as Federal Government Accelerates Smart City Spending.” INRIX, 15 March 2016. Link.

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