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Stockton, Modesto Lead Nation In 'Super Commuters'

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Two Central Valley communities on the outskirts of the Bay Area lead the nation in so-called "super commuters," those who travel 90 minutes or more to work.

According to an analysis of census data by Apartment List, 10 percent of workers living the in the Stockton area endure such commutes, the highest percentage in the nation. Nearby Modesto is tied for second on the list, with 7.3 percent of commuters taking at least an hour-and-a-half to get to work.

Super commuting has gone up in the Bay Area as well. San Francisco is 6th on the list, with 4.8 percent of commuters (about 104,000 people) enduring long trips to the office. The share of local super commuters has more than doubled since 2005, when only 2.3 percent of workers had commutes of 90 minutes or more.

A recent study by INRIX found the San Francisco area had the fifth worst traffic congestion in the world and the third worst in the U.S. in 2016. Traffic has worsened even in the early morning hours, with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission reporting 33,000 more vehicles crossing the Bay Bridge during the 4 a.m. hour in 2016-17 compared to 2014-15.

Meanwhile, housing prices continue to climb in the Bay Area, forcing many to live further from their jobs and to endure longer commutes. A report from CoreLogic released this week found the median price of a home in the Bay Area has reached a record $820,000 in March, a jump of 14.7 percent from a year earlier.

Nationally, one in 36 commuters, nearly four million workers, are super commuters.

The researchers urge increasing housing stock, particularly near transit, and improving transportation infrastructure to reduce commute times.


Tim Fang is a digital producer for CBS San Francisco and a native of the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @fangtj.

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