RE: Commute times from Santa Cruz to San Jose / Santa Clara
Commute time between Santa Cruz and San Jose can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour during peak commute times. On off-peak times, it's about 30-45 minutes. If you are new to driving Highway 17, bear in mind that the drive will take some getting used to as it's very windy and the grade fairly steep at certain points. Also, CHP likes to hide out within a half mile of and at the Summit looking for speeders, so watch your speed. Most of the semiconductor companies in Santa Clara are located at or near the 101 freeway, so add about another 10-15 minutes at the 880-101 freeway going north. Normal commute hours will cancel that extra 10-15 minutes. By the way, Santa Cruz can be a zoo during warm weekends and the summertime, so you'll have to feel that out to see if you need to leave any earlier.
If the weather is bad, the drive can get a bit hairy and can potentially add anywhere from 30 min to an hour to the drive. Accidents, especially bad ones, will delay the commute even more. My friend who lives just beyond the Summit on the Santa Cruz side once took 2.5 hours to get down to San Jose because of a really bad accident that closed the highway for awhile.
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