There are a lot of advantages to living in South Cali – fantastic weather, a beautiful coastline, spectacular scenery as you go further in – what is not to love about it? All you have to do is to jump in your car, choose a direction, and drive.
Rush hour traffic, however, where cars seem virtually at a standstill, however, the benefits of living in California start to fail.
And, who amongst us hasn’t thought of chucking it all in while waiting to inch forward and just starting off in a small little town where there are no traffic jams at all. The truth is, most of us have looked at the miles and miles of congestion and wondered if it is all worth it.
Some Good News
Your employers are becoming better informed and may be willing to acknowledge that this is an issue.
What is Making Everyone Take Notice?
The Robert Half Employment Agency decided to determine which of the main metro centers and the States had the longest commutes. They also took note of the number of anxiety-inducing incidents in a bed to see which metro area came up trumps in this area.
Congratulations South Cali
Drumroll please, the winner for the most stressful commute out of 27 different metro areas is Southern California. And that, even though the route itself comes in at number eight in terms of total length.
What can we say, in Cali, we don’t do anything by half-measures, even when it comes to areas like this one?
But Aren’t All Morning and Evening Commutes Congested?
Normally speaking, this is when congestion is at its highest. But the study didn’t only focus gridlock traffic going to and from work. They also considered traffic at other times as well and also found issues there.
Is This Stat Surprising?
Not to anyone living in California. And, considering that in 2016, Californians had 14.5 million registered vehicles, just under 100 000 busses, 14.5 million trucks and close on to 850 000 motorcycles, that California is the leading state when it comes to vehicles is no surprise either.
You Were Right. This is the Worst Traffic
So, no, while some might have accused you of being overdramatic, the Half study has confirmed that Southern Californians have the worst commute when it comes to getting to work. A situation that eases of slightly between peak hours but can still be a problem.
We experience the most anxiety over this issue out of all areas surveyed as well.
What’s the Main Reason for the Issue?
The answer here is not going to be all that popular – we are the reason that this is such as issue. We love having our own vehicles and being able to go where we want when we want. This freedom comes at a price, though.
If you do end up in rush-hour traffic, you are in the driver’s seat. This means that you have to stay in control throughout the nasty incident.
What Could Reduce the Stress?
Before we went into the statistics, if you were going to have to guess which commuters experienced the most stress, we are sure that you would have chosen a center like New York. After all, if the commuting in Cali is difficult, and New York is bigger, it makes sense for New York to be worse.
Logically, you would be right, except for one small thing – New York has a mass transit system making it possible for people to either choose to use the subway, or to use their cars. Considering the costs of parking, traffic, etc. the mass transit system is used by most New Yorkers.
Because of this subway system, New York provides the fourth longest commute at just under an hour. Despite this, it comes up in ninth place as the most stressful commute.
Affordable Mass Transit Could be the Answer
Another study by Arcadis focused on how much commuting was costing in terms of workers, the environment, and society as a whole. They did a global survey of one hundred metros worldwide and found that Los Angeles ranked 72nd globally.
So it might be time to look into that mass transit system so that those in Los Angeles are less reliant on their cars. Sure, that is going to mean spending a lot of taxpayer’s money, but it should be worthwhile. The Arcadis Study found that the typical resident of Los Angeles loses 104 hours a year because they are stuck in traffic. Let’s put that in perspective – that’s around about 4.3 days every year wasted.
Employers are Taking Notes
Happy employees are productive employees. Add a twenty to thirty-minute commute to work and your employee’s day doesn’t start off very well. To make things more critical for employers, there are a lot of jobs available.
Potential employees have a range of choices here meaning that employers need to get quite a lot more creative and flexible when it comes to commuting. Many employees might opt to look for something that is a little closer to home, and who can blame them?
Employers are therefore more willing to consider telecommuting and more flexible hours when dealing with their employees. And, to be honest, the benefits work both ways. The company is not going to benefit much if their best and brightest end up burning out because of long commute times.
Long commute times can be draining and more stressful when you are driving yourself. Southern Cali scores badly when it comes to stress as a result of commutes.
As the commuter, there are a few tactics that you can try to help you out:
• Carpool: If there are four of you carpooling together, that means three fewer cars on the road and only one of the three being stressed by the traffic.
• Use Public Transport: Again, that means fewer cars on the road, and you get some time to do just about anything you like on the way to work.
• Work flexi-time/ Telecommute: You need to discuss these with your boss first but are there ways that you can make this happen?
• Consider Alternatives: Like bicycling.
Overall, the congestion in our streets is bad, but there are ways around it. It would be nice to have a mass transit system but, until that is a reality, there are plenty of other workable solutions as well.