Research Projects

Stop the Video

Research Projects

STATUS: In Progress YEAR: 2020 TOPIC AREA: Public transit, land use, and urban mobility Transportation planning, policy, and finance CENTER: PSR

Displacement and Commuting in the San Francisco Bay Area and Beyond: An Analysis of the Relationship Between the Housing Crisis, Displacement, and Long Commutes

Project Summary

Project number: PSR-20-03
Funding sources: Caltrans and US DOT
Contract numbers: Caltrans: 65A0674 and US DOT: 69A3551747109
Funding amounts: Caltrans: $78,837 and US DOT: $21,803
Performance period: 08/16/20 to 08/15/21

Project description

California's Central Valley has several metropolitan areas within the top ten of highest share of supercommuters in the U.S. The Central Valley region is adjacent to the high-tech hubs of the San Francisco Bay Area, which has some of the highest housing prices in the country. Some Bay Area residents have moved to the Central Valley to seek lower-cost housing, perhaps at the tradeoff of a long commute. This project proposes to analyze the link between residential moves from the Bay Area to Central Valley communities and the share of supercommuting over time. Supercommuting, defined for this project as one-way commutes of over 90 minutes or 50 miles, has been shown to negatively affect individuals' health and incur societal and economic costs, including absenteeism at work and lack of local civic participation.

This project will bring together the three best available data sources on commuting (travel surveys, the American Community Survey, and the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Origin-Destination Employment Statistics). We will use these data sources to descriptively and statistically understand the incidence of supercommuting in these regions over time. We will also identify who bears the burden of increased supercommuting: high income or low income persons, young or old, white or non-white. We will also segment supercommuting by industry. The results of this research will be pivotal for transportation professionals and urban planners seeking to better understand commuting trends, their causes, and potential planning and policy options.


Marlon Boarnet
Senior Associate Dean, Academic Affairs; Professor & Director of Graduate Programs in Urban Planning, Sol Price School of Public Policy
650 Childs Way
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall (RGL) 301CLos Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States
[email protected]


Seva Rodnyansky
Assistant Professor, Urban and Environmental Policy
1600 Campus Road
UEPI 203Los Angeles, CA 90041
United States
[email protected]