A survey conducted by the Federal Reserve found that approximately 1 in 3 Americans would have difficulty paying for a $400 emergency expense. In Los Angeles, it is well known that much of people’s budget goes towards housing, but what may be surprising is that the cost of getting around also eats up a considerable amount of your budget.
Transportation – and driving alone most of all – makes up a significant amount of your annual costs. For example, in 2016 LA Metro found that moderate-income residents were spending 27 percent of their salaries on transportation on average. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, driving alone was far and away the predominant transportation mode choice for commuters in the City of Los Angeles. While the stay-at-home orders did temporarily pause the trend of drive-alone dominance, it was short-lived. Current traffic trends indicate that we’ve returned to a bumper-to-bumper daily routine. Just take a look at the 101 freeway and you’ll know traffic is back!
There are several reasons why the return to traffic is cause for concern as it has led Los Angeles to top many of the charts that cities strive to avoid. For example, the City of Los Angeles ranked as having the worst traffic in the country in 2019 with Angelenos spending an estimated 119 hours a year stuck in traffic – that’s just under five full days spent every year!
Additionally, the American Lung Association (ALA) ranked the Los Angeles-Long Beach Metro Area as having among the worst air quality in the country in terms of ozone and particulate matter – criteria pollutants that are produced by fossil fuel-based passenger vehicles. Not to mention the fact that passenger vehicles are the largest sub-category source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. While the problems are indeed vast, they are not without potential solutions.
By simply trying a sustainable or more efficient means of travel, like carpooling, riding public transit, biking and/or walking, we can reverse these negative trends. The viability of each of these options may differ depending on your situation, but they should definitely not be overlooked as each comes with their own set of considerable benefits – benefits that might just outweigh the perceived convenience of driving alone.
So go ahead and check out our Commute Calculator to find out the true cost of your commute and better understand your options. Don’t be shy about heading to our Getting Around page or contact us to find out more about new options to try when navigating Warner Center.