The Horror of Commuting in LA

Rohit Khare (
Tue, 25 Jun 96 13:07:00 -0400

Suburban Dreams Hit Roadblock

) ) Many moved to Palmdale seeking the good life. But when exhausted
commuters finally come home, they often find fraying families.

By SONIA NAZARIO, Times Urban Affairs Writer

Once or twice a week, Maribel Diaz's world goes black.
Hurtling down the Antelope Valley Freeway--her toddlers strapped in for
the 70-mile journey from work and child care in Los Angeles to their Palmdale
home--she slides into sleep.
Exhausted from the painfully long days that life demands in the distant
suburbs, the mother awakens moments later. Her hands are gripping the
steering wheel. Miraculously, her Toyota Corolla is still on the road.

Four-year-old Anthony tries to prevent these recurring moments of
terror. He sits next to his mother, constantly poking his forefinger into her
ribs. "Mommy," he pleads, "are you falling asleep?"
Like hundreds of thousands of others who have fled to the far-flung
suburbs ringing Los Angeles, Maribel and Sergio Diaz arrived with visions of
safe streets, clean air and affordable mortgages.
Three years ago, they were celebrating their fabulous find: a freshly
minted, four-bedroom end-of-the-cul-de-sac beauty for $120,000. But now that
the construction dust has settled in the Antelope Valley, reality has hit
Quietly, inside the new peach-and-beige stucco houses, under a sea of
red-tile roofs, many middle-class families such as the Diazes are imploding.
Suburban escape--at distances of 60 miles or more--leaves them little time for
anything other than work and driving.
Commuters spend up to five hours a day behind the wheel. Their children
sometimes are forced to endure 12 or 13 straight hours in day care. Some
teenagers, home alone for long stretches after school, are helping fuel a
surge in gangs and a 26% jump last year in arrests for violent juvenile
While many families are coping and even thriving, others are buckling
under the strain of long daily separations from their children and spouses.
The side effects mostly are limited to fatigue, frustration and
irritability. But all too often, marriages unravel, families disintegrate and
homes are being lost at a staggering clip. Sometimes, the line between
restrained anger and physical abuse is crossed.
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies make more domestic violence
felony arrests in the Antelope Valley than at any of their 17 other stations.
The area also has more child abuse reports than almost any place in the
state--a rate twice as high as the rest of Los Angeles County.
"This way of life is destructive," says Palmdale Lutheran priest Ken
Simon. Mike Dispenza, who ran for mayor of Palmdale in 1994, says simply,
"Families are literally being torn apart."
No Place Like Home
Dubbed "the next San Fernando Valley" in the late 1980s, the shiny new
Palmdale was a powerful lure for young families locked out of Los Angeles'
expensive home market and fearful of crime and problematic public schools.
Developers went for the jugular: Billboards promised, "Only NASA offers
more space," and, "More Bunk Rooms Than the Brady Bunch." Mortgage companies
approved deals with as little as 2% down. Civic leaders, many of them real
estate agents, greased the dizzying pace of growth.
Frenzied would-be buyers camped out in the sagebrush-studded frontier,
eager to enter lotteries for a chance to purchase a home. Products of Southern
California's car culture, they asked themselves: How bad could it be, tacking
on some time to already-long commutes?
As wooden frames rose from the desert floor, some buyers carved "Bless
Our Home" on the 2-by-4s. New arrivals clung to stories of families sleeping
with doors unlocked and children playing carefree in front yards.
Of all of Southern California's new suburbs, the Antelope Valley city
of Palmdale flourished like none other. Of cities with more than 50,000
people, Palmdale was the fastest growing in the United States, according to
the 1990 census.
But, like a mirage, the sizzling boom in the desert has vanished,
raising pointed questions among planning experts and family counselors about
whether the region's sprawling development was ill-conceived.
Tethered to an aerospace-dependent economy pummeled by the peace
dividend, Palmdale now has the nation's highest estimated foreclosure rate,
according to DataQuick Information Systems Inc., a California real estate
tracking firm.
Nearly one in 10 residences is now vacant, some becoming prime real
estate for squatters. The city also has become a popular destination for
welfare recipients and poorer families drawn to cut-rate rentals. Drive-by
gang shootings and home invasion robberies no longer are rare.
The region's development has been dominated by Kaufman & Broad Home
Corp. The firm's top Antelope Valley executive, Richard Petersen, says the
company's thousands of new homes have provided an affordable alternative to
urban apartment life. New local jobs someday will be created, reducing the
need for people to commute so far, he says. Yes, there's no Nordstrom yet, he
admits, but there are beautiful parks, safer streets and, most important,
bargain homes.
"The negatives," he says, "don't seem to be continuing to escalate."
In fact, many people say they remain happily committed to their new
lives and would not trade their cathedral ceilings and large square footage
for anything back in the urban morass.
Standing on the stoop of their pristine Palmdale home, staring at stars
so brilliant they seem suspended in the crisp night air, Los Angeles Police
Department Officer Mitchell Nowlen, 31, says, "Here, we are really content."
Mitchell's wife, Wendy, 28, who works in Pasadena, says a rock-bottom
sales price of $116,000 meant they could still pay for a boat, vacations and
private schooling for their 6-year-old daughter, Ashley. There is ample
parking at the grocery store, and the possibility of a last-minute dash to the
movie theater, which rarely sells out. "I feel more secure here," says Wendy,
who is pregnant. They plan to stay until they retire.
Others can't wait to bolt.
Domestic Disaster
Robert Hanks, an aerospace machinist, blames commuter life for slowly
crushing his marriage. Although Robert, his wife, Debbie, and their two
children--ages 11 and 6--are living under the same roof for now, she is
looking to get out. Debbie and the couple's two girls left home in November
but, she says, they returned last month when they ran out of money and
On a recent day, Debbie, 36, sits down to discuss the couple's unpaid
bills. As Robert tries to hug her, she stiffens, her gaze icy.
Before moving here in 1989, the Hankses rented a home in Sylmar,
minutes from his job. There was plenty of time to talk back then. "We were
close," Robert says, looking longingly at his wife of 12 years. In those days,
when he pulled the late shift, Debbie would bring him steak dinners with
chocolate pie. Their only pressing problem was urban life--the congestion, the
police helicopters hovering overhead, the gang-plagued schools.
Panicking as they watched the prices of new homes jump $20,000
overnight, the Hankses snapped up a 5-year-old Antelope Valley home for
$102,000. During their first week there, lounging in the backyard Jacuzzi
under snowy skies, they felt a deep sense of contentment--that soon would turn
to contempt.
"It's like going into another time zone," says a weary Robert, 38, who
leaves home at 3:30 a.m. every day for work. Four years ago, overtaken by
fatigue on one drive home, he dozed off. His Honda's fender slammed into the
concrete highway divider at 80 mph. The car spun six times, ricocheting across
the road like a Ping-Pong ball. Robert, who was unscathed, switched to a 4
a.m. vanpool, lengthening his travel time to nearly five hours a day.
Growing job stress shortened Robert's fuse even further. Each month for
a year, he says, supervisors at his Bendix Corp. plant in North Hollywood
told him that his unit was on the brink of being shut down. When Bendix was
acquired by Allied Signal Inc., Robert was transferred to Torrance. At the
same time, he says, overtime was axed, cutting his $80,000 annual income by
more than a quarter. Creditors reclaimed the Hankses' boat and new Honda
Debbie, meanwhile, spent her days at home in a neighborhood transformed
into a wind-whipped ghost town as commuters cleared out. Sandstorms were so
powerful that at times she couldn't see her neighbor across the street.
Eventually, nearly every house on their block was foreclosed, opening them to
squatters and teen hoodlums who hauled away lights, stoves, even the paneling,
Debbie says. The value of the Hankses' home plummeted to $50,000. "I felt
trapped," she says.
Every day, Robert got home 14 hours after he left. Usually, he would
drop to the chocolate-colored carpet and stare vacantly at the big-screen TV.
"His vibes would shake the walls," says Debbie. "It was like talking to a
"I knew if I talked to them, I'd just jump on them," responds Robert,
who began to feel like an intruder in his own family. Guilt-racked over being
home so little, he avoided disciplining the girls, causing more conflict with
By last fall, the fights were furious.
"We just wanted to tear each other's heads off," says Debbie. Once,
Robert says, he threw her against a wall. Another time, Debbie says, he put
his hands around her throat and squeezed. "We got a half-inch away from
violence," her husband recalls of the incident.
Debbie says she sometimes became so stressed from the marital strife
that her chest would seize up and she couldn't breathe. As she talks, Robert
paces the living room, clutching his head with both hands.
"The only thing in my life is going to work," he says through clenched
teeth. "Doing that f------ drive."
Debbie Hanks and Laura Himes have never met, but they are soul mates in anger.
Sitting by her big living-room window in another Antelope Valley
development, Laura waits for her husband, Ron, to return from his job at a
City of Commerce plastics company.
"My husband is not there for diddly-squat!" she says. "His job and
commute dominate his life."
The Himeses, unhappy with the size of their cramped home in Torrance,
bought a Palmdale model with twice the square footage in 1987. The low price
of the house allowed them to pay off credit card debts, buy a Chevy Sprint and
let Laura quit her job to spend more time rearing their two children and
making quilts. Laura hoped to continue the family tradition of candlelight
dinners with the radio turned down low.
But Ron hasn't been home for a family dinner in three months. He put
100,000 miles on the new car during its first two years. Laura calls herself
"the widow."
On one recent evening, after Ron finally arrives, he pecks her on the
cheek. She flinches, and tells a visitor that she is considering divorce.
Both husband and wife agree they would rather be in their old Torrance
bungalow than in their new sunny-yellow home.
"I feel lonely," Laura tells Ron. "I'm going crazy."
Ron says he understands his wife's dissatisfaction but coming to
Palmdale was the only way they could afford a big house. "I thought moving
here would benefit the family," he says, adding that they didn't consider the
toll of commuting. "I could fall asleep standing on the corner."
Lashing Out
During the last couple of years, problems associated with the long
commutes have overtaken people who initially coped but eventually succumbed to
the unrelenting grind, says Steven E. Sultan, director of the Antelope Valley
Psychological Center.
"Most people I see who are commuting to Los Angeles are not talking
about the positives it brings into their lives," he says.
In all, nearly half of Antelope Valley residents commute, the vast
majority of them clocking at least two hours a day on the road.
Sultan says more than a third of his practice consists of commuters.
Many blame problems with drug dependency and physical abuse on their stressful
new lifestyles.
Greg Krynen says the commute stirred such rage in him that he
eventually released it on his wife and small children.
An industrial insulator who moved to Palmdale from Torrance as a renter
seven years ago, hoping to build a home here, Greg was on the freeway by 4
a.m. every day. He returned 14 or more hours later, after five nerve-racking
hours driving to Orange County and back. Twice a week, to save gas and
aggravation, he slept in his truck, separated from his wife and three
children, Patsy, 7, Justyn, 5, and Emily, 3.
Patsy's kindergarten crayon drawings of her family included her mother,
sister, brother, even the dog, Dexter. Dad was never sketched in. "I felt
sad," says Patsy, a serious girl with wide-set eyes. "I liked playing with
him. I missed him." Justyn often played out a dollhouse skit: the male doll,
the daddy, leaves for work; the other dolls, the children, sob uncontrollably.
To unwind at night, Greg would lock himself in the bedroom or grab some
tools, roll under his 1978 Chevy truck, and stare at the chassis. Hours
later, his wife, Dodi, would find him there, asleep.
His temper flared with the slightest nudge. Last year, in an after-work
argument over what video to watch, Greg says he punched Dodi in the stomach
several times. "She hit her head when she bounced off the wall," he recalls,
admitting: "I go for the gut."
Dodi says that during the fight, she slapped her husband twice. "He
hates being hit in the face," she says. At one point, as she tried to walk
away, Dodi says Greg belted her in the back of the head so hard her vision
went blurry and she threw up for two hours. "I told him if anything like that
happened again, we were through."
The couple says that was the final time they exchanged blows. But seven
months later Greg was in trouble with the law for beating his grade-school
According to the family and court files, he smacked Patsy across the
face. The thin girl sprawled back, nose bleeding, the back of her head
splitting as it hit her toy chest. Emergency room doctors reported Greg to
authorities. A deputy, in his report on the incident, said he asked the girl
if her father often hit her. "Yes," the deputy quoted her as saying.
"Sometimes four times a day."
Child endangerment charges were brought against Greg in December but
were dropped last month after he completed a city-run parenting program. Child
welfare authorities say they are continuing to monitor his progress.
Greg says he never meant to hurt his wife or children. But he has
realized that, for him, commuting and family are a volatile mix. He now works
at a lower-paying local gardening job. Recently, Patsy made a drawing on a
white paper plate at school. "To dad," she stenciled at the top.
Day-Care Blues
The impact on children comes in ways more subtle, but no less
psychologically hurtful. Many spend a staggering number of hours away from
their parents.
"Kids feel lonely. They feel abandoned," says Antelope Valley family
therapist Angela K. Williams. "The kids feel: My parents aren't around much,
so I must not be important."
Fourth-grader Brian Gilleland, a freckled, frenetic boy, laments that
he can only snatch brief chats with his mother, Alicia, while she throws
together the evening meal. "Most of the time, she doesn't have time to
listen," says Brian, who was suspended in first grade for carrying a knife to
At bedtime, he pleads, "Stay here for a minute, Mommy. Let me tell you
about school." But Alicia says she tears herself away so her two youngsters
can get to sleep and be better rested for school.
Catering to the Antelope Valley's needs, some day-care centers open
before dawn. Mothers bring pillows and blankets, mindful that their children
are barely getting a full night's sleep.
At the YMCA in Palmdale, the doors crack open just as the sun peeks
over the horizon; the children are about to begin a grueling 12 1/2-hour stay.
Suzen Hooper screeches up to the curb just past 6 a.m. with two of her
three children. Hooper, who must arrive at her Northridge credit union job by
8:30, impatiently tugs the sleeve of 5-year-old Randy, who balks at going
inside. Angry and pouting, he stumbles through the door and cowers in the
corner, sucking his thumb, his blond hair uncombed, a look of quiet
desperation on his face.
"We only see my mom Saturday and Sunday," says Randy, who momentarily
pulls out of his funk to lick a bowl of chocolate pudding. "I miss my mom a
Randy's 7-year-old sister, Tanya, says this isn't how things should be.
"It'd be better staying at home some," the girl says, hunched over
construction paper as she draws tulips under a puffy gray sky. "We have a big
backyard and a treehouse. And I can't play in it."
Commuter children, says YMCA site director Terii Eckhardt, often share
disturbing traits: They are more tired, more argumentative and less prepared
for school than children whose parents live closer to work.
Randy, whose mom and dad are separated, sometimes arrives three or four
days straight wearing the same soiled clothing. He sobs that he is exhausted,
and beds down on a YMCA mattress for three- to five-hour naps. After a dozen
hours here, the boy begins chanting, "I want to go home!" He hurls building
blocks across the YMCA site, a double-wide trailer. He recently kept telling
workers he didn't feel well, a tactic staffers think he used in hopes of
spending more time with mom.
At 5 p.m., their 11th hour at the YMCA, some children fix their gaze
steadily on the clock. Randy, playing with a dollhouse, stares out the front
window. Six-year-old Joseph Thomas, who tells his mother he resents her long
daily absences and has begun to get school suspensions for fighting, starts
pummeling Randy with his fists and legs.
Eckhardt has a hard time understanding the lives of the parents she sees.
"I would rather sacrifice and live in a little hut and be with my kids
than never see my kids," she says at 6:30, piling Munchkin-sized chairs on the
brown Formica tables.
Truant Teenagers
Some parents are so fearful of being far from their children during an
emergency that they drag them along for the commute.
Darleen Jordan used to drop her three children, who were then in the
second and sixth grades, at a Glendale school with after-hours programs. She
then would head to her Mid-Wilshire office. On long workdays, she picked the
kids up at school and brought them back to the office. She would lug a
television, VCR and sleeping bags from the trunk of her car.
Family meals often were pizza on paper plates during the drive home. If
Jordan began to nod off, she sought out a freeway underpass and set an alarm
to sleep 20 minutes. When too fatigued, Jordan, the children and her husband,
who was commuting separately Downtown, would check into a Los Angeles motel.
Finally, Darleen surrendered. After having another baby, she got out of
the fast lane and became a full-time homemaker. Looking back, all she can say
is: "Oh my God, we made a mistake."
Even worse problems exist among teens too old for day care or trips
with mom to work. They often are left home alone for 10 to 14 hours a day when
school isn't in session.
Police, alarmed by the epidemic numbers of teenagers who lie to their
parents about going to classes, have launched truancy sweeps. Despite a new
ordinance--violations cost parents $135--authorities typically round up 100
Palmdale teenagers a day.
Two months into the current school semester, Suzen Hooper's 14-year-old
son, Scott, had missed 11 days at Mesa Junior High. "Lots of kids cut
school," he says, shrugging. Before leaving the house at 6 a.m., Scott's
mother wakes him, but he slips back into bed.
Scott wants to become involved in Boy Scouts or Little League, but his
mother says she gets home too late to take him. Grandparents and friends in
Los Angeles no longer can help since she moved so far away. Scott's
grade-point average has dropped from honor roll to below 1.0. In the sixth
grade, his mom says, he began wearing baggy clothes and scribbling the name of
a gang on school spiral notebooks. Scott says he is not in a gang now.
Some teens are turning not only to gangs but to drugs, shoplifting and
residential burglaries, targeting neighborhoods evacuated by commuters, says
sheriff's Deputy Chris Haymond.
Nearly 580 Palmdale juveniles were arrested last year for crimes
ranging from burglary to aggravated assault.
"Mom and dad are chasing dollar bills down the freeway. And the kids
are footloose and fancy free," says Michael Dutton, principal of Antelope
Valley High School.
Hanging in There
No question, Jeffery and Danielle Wooten admit, it's a hard life being
commuter parents on the edge of the Mojave. But for now, for their children,
they are convinced the Antelope Valley still outshines Los Angeles.
"We knew once we moved out here that it would be difficult, that it
would be a sacrifice," says Danielle, who is 24. "We feel we are getting
something better out of the deal."
The Wootens say they sometimes feel like strangers passing in the
night--on opposite sides of the freeway. He works the graveyard shift as a
security guard at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center in South-Central
Los Angeles. She works all day as a medical office clerk in Santa Clarita.
Together with a relative, they juggle baby-sitting for the three children who
live at the Wootens' almost-new four-bedroom home in Lancaster.
On weekdays, Jeffery and Danielle average about 30 minutes together
under the same roof. "I'm coming. He's going," says Danielle. "Sometimes he's
cooked dinner and I don't want to eat. I'm just tired. We snap at each other."
The hurt feelings can fester for days until the couple finds time to
iron things out. "We have to keep reminding each other: This is what we
chose," Danielle says.
Jeffery, 34, says he misses his wife.
"I don't let it show a lot," he confesses. "I try to maintain, even
though I'm dead tired." When she comes through the door, Jeffrey says, he
tells her that he loves her. Exhausted, Danielle trudges upstairs to sleep,
Jeffery says, "and doesn't hug me."
As the couple talks with a visitor at their dining room table, Jeffery
begins to snore loudly, seated in his chair.
While he sleeps, Danielle explains that by the time she gets home at 8
p.m., there is little time for motherhood. She remembers one recent day off
when their 2-year-old son, Taylor, refused to leave her lap. "Mommy, don't
leave!" he chanted. "Mommy, don't leave!"
Realizing the potential harm, the Wootens have family meetings with
their children, explaining why mom and dad can't always be there. They pray
together. Then, the parents remind the children that they all have their own
bedrooms now, unlike when they were enduring apartment life in the San
Fernando Valley.
"When they get older they will realize the sacrifices we made were in
their best interest," Danielle says. "They will know their parents did love
them." She adds, half trying to convince herself, "I think they are happy."
Chucking the Commute
Rather than accept the trade-offs inherent in spending long hours
behind the wheel, a growing number of people are willing to take substantial
pay cuts to work closer to home. About 800 hopefuls recently lined up before
dawn in front of the discount Food-4-Less grocery store to apply for 70
low-wage positions.
Divorced mother Tamara Howell ditched the drive and began a day-care
business in her home, watching over the children of commuters on her Palmdale
"I was just a robot," says Tamara, clasping her chest. "I felt hypnotized."
By last year, the 5-foot-3 Howell had shrunk to 92 pounds, 20 below
what doctors thought was healthy. She slept, curled up in her car, during
lunch hour at her Chatsworth job.
She rose at 3:30 a.m. to do dishes, bills and laundry; her children
were in day care by 6.
Quality time with her daughter Samantha, then 3, and her younger son
Brian was the 10-minute drive home from day care.
"There is so much I missed," she says. "There are no replays."
These days, she is having few regrets. The money isn't as good, but her
life is much richer. With more free time, she takes her children to the park
and on field trips to the Antelope Valley Indian museum.
"My kids are loving having me here," Tamara says. "It's not perfect,
but it's a heck of a lot better than it was. . . . You sacrifice, but now I'm
sacrificing for the right things."
Antelope Valley family therapist Jorge Zepeda says he understands why
so many people are leaving. He can't say the same for those who take their
"I don't know why they come," he says in bewilderment.
In mid-March, dozens of construction workers, clad in
fluorescent-orange vests, put the finishing touches on a massive expansion of
Palmdale's main carpool lot.
And on the Antelope Valley Freeway's Palmdale Boulevard exit, a huge
billboard has gone up, hawking what will be one of Los Angeles County's
largest planned suburban developments, the 7,200-home Ritter Ranch tract.
"A new kind of family habitat," it beckons.
Next: Welfare families--and class conflict--come to the new suburbs.
* * *
SURVIVAL SKILLS / How Antelope Valley Residents Deal With Tough Commutes
Two Couples Team Up
* Eric Erickson and Kathleen McKenzie-Erickson
PRICE: $86,000
The Ericksons' solution to commuter fatigue: Wife Kathleen would spend
weeknights in a Chatsworth apartment. Eric says his wife, a software
specialist for a law firm, had to get up at 3:30 a.m. and return home after
6:30 p.m. She shared her L.A. rental with a neighbor's wife who also was weary
of the long daily commute from the Antelope Valley. Meanwhile, the husbands
of the two L.A.-bound women would deal with their bouts of loneliness by
inviting each other over for dinner. The arrangement was put on hold a few
months ago when Kathleen took a leave of absence because of a hand problem she
developed from work. But now she's getting better and is thinking about
starting the madness all over again. If that happens, Eric, who is studying to
become a mediator, says that when the couple gets together on weekends, they
will simply "sit and bask in each other's warmth."
* * *
SURVIVAL SKILLS / How Antelope Valley Residents Deal With Tough Commutes
A Cot in the Office
* Ron Saldivar and Lydia Guzman-Saldivar
PRICE: $130,000
Los Angeles Police Officer Ron Saldivar spends three nights each week
sleeping on a cot in the department's Rampart Division, away from his wife and
13-month-old son in the Antelope Valley. Ron sleeps at the station because he
fears that fatigue from 12-hour work shifts might cause him to fall asleep on
the drive home. A colleague recently dozed off at the wheel on the Antelope
Valley Freeway, crashed down an embankment and suffered nerve damage to his
arm, Ron says. The Saldivars initially were thrilled with their three-bedroom,
two-story Palmdale home, a big step up from the 500-square-foot Lincoln
Heights duplex they previously rented. But Lydia, saying the couple eventually
realized Ron's absences were a necessary evil, now says: "This is commuter
hell." The family stopped making mortgage payments last year and expects to be
evicted from their foreclosed home shortly.
* * *
SURVIVAL SKILLS / How Antelope Valley Residents Deal With Tough Commutes
Five-Day Job, Two Commutes
* Gary and Kim Montana
PRICE: $80,000
Monday through Friday, Gary Montana lives in Hacienda Heights with his
mother--leaving behind his two children, two stepchildren, wife and house in
the Antelope Valley. Gary says he is putting in so much overtime these days
that there aren't enough hours left to get home and back to work. Gary's wife,
Kim, drives him to his job as a sheet-metal worker in El Sereno on Monday at
4:15 a.m. and picks him up at the end of the week. "It's terrible. This one
barely even knows him," Kim says, cradling the couple's 6-month-old son. "He
looks at him like: Who is this guy?" On weekends, Kim says, the couple's
1-year-old son, Gary Jr., plants himself on dad's lap all day and won't leave
his side at night. "There is no other way to do it," Kim says.
* * *
The Daily Grind Behind the Wheel
As Americans push their suburbs out further and further, an increasing
proportion of people are spending large chunks of their day behind the wheel.
The percentage who spend two or more hours each day commuting is particularly
high in Southern California. In the Antelope Valley, more than 30% of
residents are on the road at least two hous a day.
Two Hours or More Round Trip
Palmdale: 36.9%
Los Angeles County: 16.2%
Orange County: 17.1%
Ventura County: 14.6%
San Bernardino County: 25.3%
Riverside County: 24.7%
5-County Average: 18.1%
Sources and notes: U.S. Census for nationwide and Palmdale data, which
is 1990, the most recent available. Antelope Valley Data is for 1993 from U.S.
Census and Southern California Association of Governments. Southern
California data from the Southern California Rideshare department of the
Southern California Association of Governments. It is for 1994, the most
recent year available.

Copyright Los Angeles Times