L.A. drivers’ commute is not too bad

Think your commute is bad?

Others have it worse -- unless you happen to live in Lake Elsinore.

The U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday released new data showing how long it takes people to get to work.

In Southern California, Lake Elsinore in Riverside County topped the list, with residents taking an average of 41.8 minutes to get to work.

Palmdale and Adelanto were just behind at 40.5 minutes.

The report, which examined data collected between 2006 and 2008, confirms something veteran commuters know well: The worst drives to work are often shared by residents who live in far-flung suburbs.

Other Southern California cities high on the list include Walnut, Perris, Murrietta, Moreno Valley, Diamond Bar, Chino Hills, Santa Clarita and La Puente. The study found that the average Los Angeles resident spends an average of just under half an hour getting to work. That is actually lower than some other major cities: New York City residents average 39.4 minutes; Chicago 34.1.


For a city to be included in the data, it had to have a population of 20,000 or more.

Palm Springs and Indio in the Coachella Valley posted some of the shortest commutes in Southern California at about 20 minutes each. But not far behind were some Orange County suburbs: Costa Mesa (22.3), Tustin (22.3) and Irvine (22.5).

The American Community Survey data was compiled from a questionnaire that asked, among several other things, “How many minutes did it usually take this person to get from home to work last week?”


Times researcher Sandra Poindexter contributed to this report.