WeHo Residents Choose to Drive (by Themselves) to Get to Work

wehoville 201602 commuteA larger share of West Hollywood residents drove alone to work compared to those who work in West Hollywood and to residents of nearby cities. That’s according to an analysis by WeHo by the Numbers of Census Bureau survey data for West Hollywood and four other cities from 2010 to 2014.

Of the West Hollywood residents who commuted, an estimated 88% used a car, truck or van to get to work. Similarly, 83% of people who worked in the city used a car, truck or van to get here. Most of these workers were coming from outside the city, since only an estimated 11% of jobs were filled by residents. All of these numbers exclude people who worked at home, because they did not commute.

Most of the car commuters drove to work alone: 85% of residents and 74% of workers. The other car commuters were carpoolers. There were three times more carpoolers among West Hollywood workers (9%) than among residents (3%).
The differences between residents and workers went beyond carpooling. When compared to residents, workers were twice as likely to use transit for their commutes (9% versus 4%). The numbers also suggest they were more likely to bike to work (2% versus 1%).

WeHo by the Numbers also compared West Hollywood’s commuting choices to those of residents in Beverly Hills, Culver City, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica. The estimates were based on the same survey period, 2010 to 2014, and excluded residents who worked at home.

The 85% of residents driving to work alone in West Hollywood was significantly higher than the 78% in Santa Monica and 71% in Los Angeles. It may also have been higher than in Culver City and Beverly Hills, but the survey’s margin of error makes it hard to sure.

West Hollywood’s commuting choices also differed from some or all of the other cities in carpooling, transit, and biking to work. To find out more, please see the Weho by the Numbers article: How does West Hollywood commute?


12 Comments
  1. Randy, you made a very good point and I appreciate it. You and I are on the same page for sure. Bottom line, we will NEVER get everyone out of their cars, however, with the City building a bonafide train system, I believe a decent percentage of people will get out of their cars and use it. That Sir, is a win-win. And, as Los Angeles continues to develop infill housing, mixed uses, etc., you will see more people using mass transit. No doubt that Los Angeles started LATE, however it’s happening and it will get better. Appreciate your response!

  2. Larry, I’m an avid user of public transit (as well as a bicycle), and support its use. But its just not realistic to compare Los Angeles to Manhattan, or even Paris or London. Los Angeles is MASSIVE. The distance from West Hollywood to Downtown, alone, even without traffic is over 9 miles. Over 11 miles to Santa Monica. I know people who live here who have to commute to these locations daily.

    I agree that we need more mass transit, and definitely a subway line. But if its an above ground bus, and you are stuck in traffic with all of the other cars (going even slower on a bus), too many people will opt to be in their own vehicles.

    If we had a subway that went through West Hollywood and connected to the red line, and truly took less time than driving, I think people would use it (as one commuting example). People actually use MUNI in San Francisco because it often takes less time than driving would. I’m hoping the City shuttle to the Red Line is a success, but I can’t help but think that many people are still going to opt to drive, knowing they might have to wait up to 15 minutes for the shuttle when they come out of the Red Line.

    My point is, people don’t seem to want to use mass transit, if its going to add a lot of time to their commute, or if they are forced to make a connection (such as a bus connection). It is a reality of the sprawl that we live in, which can’t be compared to places like San Francisco and Manhattan.

  3. Jim, the congestion is already here and has BEEN here. We desperately need a great mass transit system for all of us here in Los Angeles. Manhattan is an awesome place, if you’re a fan of awesome cities. West Hollywood is different than the Greenwich Village in that WeHo has major arterials running through it and that’s just a fact. There is nothing we can do about it. Bring on the mass transit and mixed-use, it’s the only way.

  4. If you like the density and congestion of Manhattan, Paris and London, yes build more mass transit like Larry Smith says. But at least we’ll still have “the most beautiful weather in the United States”.

  5. After reading all of the above responses, I realized that everyone who wrote in other than Mr. Dolan’s comments truly have no room to bitch about the traffic since they are all a major part of the problem. Los Angeles has been far to large to not have a transit system that was convenient for everyone i.e. Manhattan, London, Paris, etc. Los Angeles is building it FINALLY and it’s going to be a while before it get’s to everyone. With the most beautiful weather in the United States, WHY are we in our cars more than NOT? It’s time for WEHO and LOS ANGELES to have an attitude adjustment.

  6. This only emphasizes the need for light rail, high speed mode of transit either underground of above. The key is multiple stops from Doheny to La Brea and connections to the subway or other mode of transport.

    This is the game changer, and my household hope to see these solutions come sooner than latter. We would gladly leave our car for easy access to transit hubs throughout West Hollywood

  7. I like mass transit. But only so that others will use it and I can have more of the road to myself.

    I like my car.

  8. wow, i sense some serious envy in the comments posted.
    for good or bad we are a car city, and can’t imagine what cataclysmic event could change that.
    but, i’m afraid nothing but an attitude adjustment will shake the piety and angst from people who look down their nose at someone, perhaps anyone who happens to live well, as though that person didn’t earn their right to live or drive where and what they choose.

    can we really have a red line trolley down every street and avenue?
    that presumes that you are still willing to work after everything is a ‘level playing field’

    1. oh – you got my message wrong. I wanted and had all that I thought I wanted. I became much happier choosing not to have the flashy car (though at the time, they were not ‘flashy’ but a part of what was my professional career status – that’s what we all did)

      I do think there is a silly about above which anyone would say – really? My anti-Maserati feelings was just – I don’t get it. If I were buying a car in that price range, i would never choose the reboot of the Maserati Brand.

      And I was that clueless about public transportation and how I was working for things that really didn’t matter to me.

      The irritation I do have is that there needs to be a study and article questioning the off the average habits of weho (in anything – this time public/green transport).

      There is nothing about weho that conforms to any average city, street, population, shape size dimensions that wouldn’t make it stand out in any survey taken (for good or bad – it is just always different)

      Yet another study and article questioning the study. That’s all.

  9. REASONS:
    1. Given how expensive it is to live in weho (well paid working professionals) in general are very big on talking PC and Driving Range Rovers et al.

    2. Well paid working professionals who can afford a home/condo on the west side of weho, does not work 9-5 and probably have crazy or entitled hours without absolute arrival and departure from their ‘job’

    3. Believe it or not, Despite our Bus Depot, and the Huge Number of Buses driving through weho, due to the strange street layout, unless you work in bh or century city (which actually is not true, because it is a HUGE walk (say to the Fox Tower Office Bld from SMB) there is on main line (4, 704 running smb). It is almost impossible to get very far without TAKING 2 BUSES (changing to a N/S line. A bus change is awful and wastes a ton of time.

    4. Hollywood w/access to the Redline, has the REVERSE – the strange non route of the Red Line is a SHORTCUT and UNDER ALL traffic. To N and the valley, ior to downtown, it is fast, clean, comfortable. (BTW Normandy N/S is so important (lacc) (hopsitals) the red line is packed and all buses on the same street above are PACKED most of the time. RED LINE makes it better for Hollywood than driving.

    5. Buses driving SMB (creating so much of the delay for drivers) also are hampered by the bottleneck at Sweetzer to La Brea.

    6. BH would probably have a very HIGH commuter use of the bus. The mansions are staffed and there is a special line that was created (passes through weho) that specifically addresses the needs of the lowest paid workers working in the most expensive city, and living far away. BH homeowners – are not big bus users.

    7. MUCH is the Geography and Street Layout – along with affluence and a car as a status symbol (I watch Maserati drivers getting into fights dropping their dogs off and picking them up at healthy spot all the time. Who needs a Maserati to drop their dog off for day care?)

    On the other hand, knowing weho’s ‘secrets’ (fountain – time of day etc….) one can speed through weho with not that much time, but with intense car to car rage as streets get narrow, then wide or one lane for a while, two lanes for a bit, then back to one.

    Not complicated if one lives in weho for a long time.

  10. This will never change no matter what else is available. Residents and workers and visitors want to have their car and their own space.

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