Commute Times Steady Despite Increase in Freeway Congestion
Tracking commuter trends and transportation system demand helps gauge the ease with which residents, workers, and goods can move within the county. Traffic congestion adversely affects the efficient movement of goods, contributes to the expense of operating a car, and increases air pollution. Transit use is likely significantly impacted by the sheer size of the county, the distances between destinations within the county, and low-density land use, which may result in lengthy transit trips. Residents may choose to trade off longer commute times for housing affordability or other quality of life factors. This indicator tracks average commute times, residents’ primary mode of travel to work, and hours of delay on freeways in the region.
How is San Bernardino County Doing?
San Bernardino County commute times remain largely unchanged:
- In 2017, the average commute time to work for San Bernardino County residents was 31.8 minutes, compared with 31.9 in 2016.
- San Bernardino County’s average commute time is longer than both California (29.8 minutes) and the U.S. (26.9 minutes) and is exceeded only by Riverside and Miami-Dade counties among regions compared.
- At 79.6%, most of San Bernardino County commuters drove to work alone in 2017.
- Carpooling comprised 11.3% of all trips while 5% of residents worked at home.
- Only 1.2% of residents took public transportation and another 1.8% walked to work.
The California Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment, which has been conducted biennially since 2008, rates pavement condition on a scale of zero (failed) to 100 (excellent). The 2018 assessment included a total of 22,161 lane miles of pavement in San Bernardino County, which are maintained by local jurisdictions. In 2018, San Bernardino County’s average pavement condition index (PCI) was 70, which is one point below the “good to excellent” range, but higher than the statewide average PCI of 65. Ratings between 71 and 100 are considered good to excellent, while ratings of 50 to 70 are considered at risk. San Bernardino County has maintained a PCI rating between 70 and 72 since tracking began. Only 54.7% of California’s local streets and roads were in good condition in 2018.
Congestion worsened on San Bernardino County freeways:
- In 2017, there were more than 3.9 million annual hours of delay due to severe congestion (3,969,507 hours at speeds of less than 35 miles per hour). This is an increase of 10% from 2016.