incommute_numbersHousing doesn’t generate traffic, jobs do

Almost 5,000 people commute from Solano County into Marin for work. Over 15,000 come from Sonoma County, and 2,300 from Sacramento.

In 2014 there were around 110,000 jobs in Marin. Almost 2/3 of this workforce – 68,000 people – commuted here from other counties*.

Roughly 35,000 in-commuters travel at least 50 miles a day. Of these, nearly 16,000 people drive 100 miles or more to and from their jobs in Marin.

Why do so many Marin workers endure such extraordinary commutes?

Here’s why: most workers who commute into Marin – over 45,000 people – make less than $40,000 per year. That’s only FORTY PER CENT of what they would need to afford an average rental in Marin*. They commute to work because they can’t afford to live here.

We Marinites also pay dearly for the workforce commute.

  • Highway 101 in Marin is one of the most congested freeways in the region, responsible for thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions and untold hours of frustration and stress for residents and commuters alike.
  • In-commuters who work here spend their paychecks at home–in other counties.
  • The commute impacts employee turnover and hurts local businesses.
  • When there’s an accident, weather event, or natural disaster, workers are late or can’t get to work at all.

Housing doesn’t generate traffic, jobs do. A more balanced Marin economy would have more workers living closer to their jobs instead of enduring long hours on the road, away from their families, and inevitably worsening environmental and traffic impacts in Marin.

We can make a dent in Marin’s jobs/housing imbalance by building affordable housing close to transit and jobs.

* Here are a few more numbers:

CITY Commuters
Petaluma 4,842
Richmond 2,713
Santa Rosa 2,649
Oakland 2,573
Vallejo 2,493
Rohnert Park 2,402