The average resident of the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metro area spends 30.0 minutes commuting to work, longer than both the national average of 26.4 minutes and the statewide average of 28.9 minutes. Los Angeles residents have the fifth longest commute of any metro area in California.

Two of the main factors that determine commute time are the distance to be traveled and traffic congestion. In large, dense cities, commuters likely travel longer distances from home to work and do so at slower speeds.

Metropolitan areas often consist of a core principal city with strong economic and social ties to their surrounding regions. The more concentrated a metropolitan area population is within its principal city, the less time residents spend commuting to work. Nationwide, 38.3% of metro area residents live within their principal city, and the remaining 61.7% in surrounding communities. An estimated 52.5% of Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim residents live in the city of Los Angeles, a larger share than the national figure.

One indication of a good transit system is an economically diverse ridership. If ridership in a metropolitan area is primarily just low-income residents, the system is less likely to operate smoothly or be maintained well. In Los Angeles, the typical public transit commuter earns $17,680 a year, roughly 48% of the $36,695 median earnings of commuters who drive to work alone in the metro area. Nationwide, the median earnings for public transit commuters is 89% that of workers who commute in a car, truck, or van alone.

Rank Metro Area Commute Time
10 Vallejo-Fairfield, CA 30.9
9 Stockton-Lodi, CA 31.1
8 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 31.3
7 Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH 31.4
6 Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 31.8
5 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 31.9
4 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 33.2
3 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 34.4
2 New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 36.3
1 East Stroudsburg, PA 39.6