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Traffic trade-offs: How LA negotiates commute time with the increasing cost of housing

by AirTalk®

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Passengers board Metrolink subway trains during rush hour on June 3, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. David McNew/Getty Images

A recent New York Times piece by Conor Dougherty follows the commute of a middle-class woman who wakes up at 2:15am in her affordable Stockton home to take two trains and a bus to her job in San Francisco.

This example of a so-called “super commuter” is a familiar story to many in Los Angeles. With housing prices rising, Angelenos have to increasingly make trade-offs between finding an affordable living situation, often on the edges of L.A., and increased commute times to their jobs.

According to conventional wisdom, the happiness gained from a shorter commute is worth having a smaller place. But for many in L.A., financial reality necessitates both a long commute and a small home, just to make ends meet.

We want to hear about how you handle these trade-offs. What roles do commute time and housing cost play in your decisions regarding where you live? How many hours a day do you spend in your car? What financial and emotional concessions have you made in order to afford housing in L.A.?

Call us at 866-893-5722.


Conor Dougherty, San-Francisco based economics reporter at The New York Times who focuses on the West coast economy; his recent article for the New York Times is “A 2:15 Alarm, 2 Trains and a Bus Get Her to Work by 7 a.m.

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