Is Central San Jose a Great Place For Commuters?

Commuter’s Guide to Living in Central San Jose

The quiet streets during the COVID-19 pandemic made it easy to forget about traffic. We cruised down roads unobstructed, instead of inching through the city. Unfortunately for everyone, lengthy commutes are back nationwide.

One study estimates that the average San Jose commuter spends three hours in traffic, listening to podcasts and taking in the selection of cars. In the constant battle against rush-hour traffic, choosing the right area to live in is a winning move.

We’ll cover the places to avoid during rush hours, cycling options, public transportation, and great neighborhoods for commuters.

Traffic and Rush Hour in San Jose

Thriving cities always get congested around rush hour. In the central and metro areas of San Jose, ‌rush hour times are typical. Evening rush hour is worse than in the morning, adding roughly 6 minutes to every 10km traveled. Morning rush hour adds 3 minutes to a 10km journey.

Weekday rush hour in central and metro San Jose:

  • Mornings: Most severe congestion from 7 am to 9 am
  • Afternoons: Peak congestion is around 5 pm. Traffic increases between 3 to 7 pm.

Traffic is much better on weekends. Midday is the busiest time to travel around, though it’s far less congested than any weekday.

Is San Jose A Cyclist-Friendly City?

Moderate weather and flat terrain are both ideal for cycling. The City of San Jose completed around 400 miles of bikeways in 2021. City Council approved The Better Bike Plan in 2020, which has three main objectives:

  • Safety: increase the safety of cycling in the city for all ages and purposes.
  • Mode Shift: make cycling a better option for residents using vehicles or public transport.
  • Equity: construct a plan that serves areas that are historically underserved

San Jose has been a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community since December 2022. In the past, the League of American Bicyclists has designated San Jose at Bronze Level.

How is the Public Transportation System in Downtown San Jose?

San Jose is no different than ‌many major US cities in that some areas are better served by public transportation than others. Depending on your commute, you might have to hop on the light rail system or catch a bus.

Busses are affected by traffic, the same as any other driver on the road. If you are planning on taking a bus to and from the office, plan your timing carefully. Keep the rush hour times in mind; mornings from 7 am to 9 am and afternoons from around 5 pm until 7 pm.

Transport Passes: The Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) issues passes called Clipper Cards to make fares more convenient. Paying with cash is still an option, but you should have exact change.

The San Jose Light Rail System: Getting away from ‌‌traffic is nice. The light rail system connects the downtown core to other cities and runs by BART, Caltrain, and Greyhound stations.

The light rail system in Downtown San Jose

The Light Rail System in Downtown San Jose 

Catching a taxi in San Jose costs about $3.50 base, with $3.00 for every mile.

Top Spots to Live for Working in Downtown San Jose

The best way to eliminate your commute downtown is to live downtown! Central San Jose puts all of the urban amenities within your grasp, like a wide selection of acclaimed restaurants, fitness facilities, and everything else you’d expect.

Central San Jose is a mixing point for different cultures and also the largest urban center in Silicon Valley. It rose from an agriculturally focused city with less than 100,000 residents and now it’s home to Adobe World Headquarters and countless other tech giants like Amazon and Google.

Words like “downtown” and “urban” conjure images of skyscrapers and apartment buildings. Central San Jose definitely has all of that, but there’s a diversity to the housing in the area. Whether you’re looking for a cozy apartment, a single-floor house, or a duplex; the Jamison Team has that and more!

Our team has been working with San Jose real estate since 2008, and we’ve found and sold homes for hundreds of families since then. If you’re looking for a credible real estate team with countless customer success stories, you’ve found it. Reach out to us for a no-obligation chat so we can talk about your needs.

More Questions? Follow-up With Us!

If you have more questions about what to expect from the markets around the Bay Area, don’t be afraid to reach out to us today. Our experts are experienced in all property types and the entire San Francisco Bay Area, and we can help you to find what you need to know today.

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