A foray into recent demographic studies shows, not surprisingly, that Benicia does not employ many of its own residents. Benicia, like many Bay Area cities, belongs to the commuter belt of towns that lack adequate jobs to employ their working residents. Traffic during each day’s morning and evening commute also suggests that, in many cities, including Benicia, there’s an equal number of workers coming into a town as there are residents leaving for jobs elsewhere. Skilled workers in small towns often commute to higher-paying jobs in larger cities. Benicia’s income, education and age demographics bear this out. Residents who work in the towns where they live are generally serving residents through retail, teaching and the public sector. So in the constant criss-crossing of freeways and bridges, where are Benicians going, and how are we getting there? As it turns out, being a cosmopolitan bunch, we are working all over the state.
Our commutes range from Vallejo to San Diego. Almost 88% of us commute by car, truck or van to work. We walk out our front doors and head north (Wine Country), south (SoCal), east (Sacto) and west (SF). The largest percentage of Benicians are commuting to the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont area. The smallest percentage is commuting to the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario area. About 2,500 of us are pioneering the trend towards localized economies by working in town or from home.