Commute distances have increased for SoCal high- and middle-wage earners, UCI study finds

January 2017

A UCI study has found that commute distances in Southern California have gotten longer for high- and middle-wage earners but have remained unchanged for low-wage earners. According to the latest quarterly report issued through the School of Social Ecology’s Metropolitan Futures Initiative (MFI), between 2002 and 2010, the distance between where high- and middle-income jobs are located and where those workers live increased across the region. Matching the cost of housing with job income level is a challenge for policymakers and city planners. Workers don’t want to live too close to industrial or commercial areas, but at the same time, they don’t want to commute long distances. “In the broad context of Southern California, this in part means assisting with job growth in the Inland Empire, the origin of one of the largest mega-commuting flows in the U.S., or removing barriers to workforce housing development in the job destination areas,” said John Hipp, MFI Director and UCI Professor of Criminology, Law and Society.

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