Commuting from most of the San Ramon Valley communities south towards the valley is a long haul indeed.
There are several choke points along the way so here is what you can look forward to.
Walnut Creek-Danville --- Yuk
Danville-Pleasanton - Opens up
Pleasanton (Just south of 580-680)- Sunol - Yuk
Sunol-Over Sunol Grade - Hard to tell - HOV/Pay for use lane has alleviated some of the backups.
Getting to Santa Clara from 680 - Just no easy way to do it but there are some surface street shortcuts to avoid highways.
If I have to go during commute times I plan on 1:15-1:30 from DANVILLE. Walnut Creek add another 15 minutes and depending on where in Walnut Creek you choose it could be another 15-20 minutes to even get to the freeway.
Wish it was better but it's not so as others have said make sure you have a good stereo and your favorite tunes .... or better yet carpool or get a hybrid with a HOV sticker (if they are still available) because that could save you 30-40 minutes.
Gotta say that is one lone commute. Many of my freinds in the San Rmaon Valley commute to the south bay and their tolerance is Danville south, mostly because of interchange traffic at 24. Would love to sell sell sell Wlanut Creek but an hour or two (traffic accidents) in a car each way isn't for everyone.
ALonf 680 there is a bottleneck in each direction. North its between Crow Canyon and Diablo then its slow all the to 24. South its at the interchange.
I was living in Dublin and commuting to Mountain View at the time when they were widening and finishing 680.
The secret to it is;
Having a nice comfortable car with a good stereo, and,
Having a mindset that you are cool, calm and relaxed.
You cannot let it get to you.
I listened to a lot of music and I also got books-on-tape (this was in the 90's) from the library.
A few times I got caught by an accident and it would take 1 1/2 hours, but I had a lot of days that were 45 minutes.
Your distance is about the same as mine, but you have the advantage of 4 lanes; I had 2 and sometimes 1!
I was going in at 5:30-6:00 and coming home at 4:00.
You do what you have to do; just relax.
Good luck and may God bless
According to Google Maps, without traffic about an hour. My advice to my clients is to actually drive the distance yourself at the time of day you'll be making the commute. Google Maps, Map Quest and others are helpful, but nothing compares to reality.