Californians have the tenth longest commute times in the country, according to reports. While the average Californian spends 26.9 minutes traveling to work, Contra Costa County residents spend an average of 32.2 minutes driving daily.
According to statistics from the 2009-11 American Community Survey as published on http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/calif-commute-times-rank-10th-longest-us-18614 CaliforniaWatch.org, Americans spend an average 23.7 minutes getting to work. More than three-quarters of them drove alone, nearly 1 in 10 carpooled and 5 percent took public transportation. Californians were less likely to drive alone -- about 73 percent did -- and were more likely to carpool (11.4 percent) or ride public transit (5.2 percent).
In Contra Costa County, seven in 10 residents drove alone, 11.8 percent carpooled and 8.8 percent took public transit. Contra Costa, along with Riverside County, had the highest proportion of its residents traveling an hour or more to work -- 17 percent.
Although the study didn't provide reasoning for the long commutes in the area, UCLA Urban Planning Professor Donald Shoup said one explanation for persistently high rates of solo drivers is free parking.
Locally, Humboldt County workers had the quickest commutes, at 17 minutes, and 3.3 percent traveled an hour or more. Statewide, few than one in 10 residents commuted over an hour. San Francisco residents were the least likely to commute by car.