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nikipedia's avatar

How much commute is too much? How bad is your commute?

Asked by nikipedia (27475points) September 20th, 2010

I left my house at 6:23am this morning and arrived at my destination, 40 miles away, at 8:07. Fortunately, I only have to do this once a week, and it gives me plenty of NPR time to catch up on current events, but it still pretty much blows and is a total bummer for the environment.

What’s your commute like? Any horror stories?

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21 Answers

erichw1504's avatar

I’d say if it takes longer than 45 minutes to get to work then you need a new job.

My commute isn’t bad at all, only an 8 minute drive and a 15 minute bike ride.

jaytkay's avatar

45 minutes is the worst I’ve had by car. Rain or traffic could easily push it over an hour, and once a snowstorm made it 3 hours. I start getting edgy after 45 minutes in the car.

For ten years I’ve successfully avoided that, though. By luck and design, I haven’t had a drive over 35 minutes. Where I am now I can go by car, bike or train. The time is about the same among the three, I can choose based on weather, whim or whatever errands I might need to accomplish on the way.

NaturallyMe's avatar

When i was doing my law articles, i’d leave work at 16h30 and sometimes only get home at about 18h00. Without traffic it’s probably a 20 minute drive. On the way there it would take me about an hour, and during school holiday when no parents are also in traffic taking kinds to school, it would take me 30 minutes to get there.
Sometimes easier said than done, but anything more than 30 minutes would be too much for me, that’s an hour a day wasted driving (and polluting).
Now my commute to work is 3 seconds (home office).

nikipedia's avatar

@erichw1504: Generally speaking I’d agree, but this is a collaboration and will hopefully only involve me making this drive once a week for a few months. Not really worth quitting grad school over. I do get to bike to work every other day.

marinelife's avatar

I once lived on an island, and I had to take a ferry to the mainland, and then drive about 45 minutes.

Cruiser's avatar

When I first started here 14 years ago it was a 40 mile reverse commute which ate up an hour of my day each way. After 2 years of that insanity, I moved to 7 miles from work and it still chews up 15–20 minutes just to go 7 miles. I am hoping to move again very soon which should get me to work in 10 minutes…still too long for antsy Cruiser!

cazzie's avatar

My commute is a lovely 20 minute walk.

partyparty's avatar

I used to work in the city… only 16 miles, but in traffic it took me over an hour to get to work.
Now I work from home. Ah bliss!!

cookieman's avatar

I commute about 45 minutes – but I drop my daughter off at school first, so that ups it to about an hour.

When I worked in the city, it took me an hour-and-a-half to travel 30 miles. I miss being in the city, but I don’t miss that.

diavolobella's avatar

I commute 50 miles each way to and from Nashville, Tennessee and most of the time traffic is not that bad. It doesn’t bother me. As a parent of teenagers, any quiet alone-time I can get is appreciated..

mrentropy's avatar

Currently, my commute isn’t bad. I live 11 miles from where I work and it usually takes about 20 minutes. That’s in “heavy” traffic.

Before this, my commute was around four miles and only took a couple of minutes.

Before that it was a fifty mile drive that took about an hour.

When I was in New Jersey I commuted about 50 miles (each way, mind you) and it took about two hours to get to work and anywhere between 2 and 4 hours to get home. The time a truck overturned on Rt. 80 and melted a bridge in Denville it took me six hours to get home.

whatthefluther's avatar

I did a 55 mile commute, each way for four years. It was all freeway travel, no traffic, so it took about an hour each way. The first two years I utilized the ride-share program, first via bus for about nine months then by van. The bus was fun with a Hearts game every afternoon with three good friends, but there wasn’t enough passengers and it was discontinued. With an unpredictable schedule, I was forced to drive the last couple of years. Two hours of commute each day is too much, but I had no interest in living at any point in between home and work (substantially desert) and the pay was extraordinary.
See ya…....Gary/wtf
PS: I was spoiled for the 16 years prior to those commuting years as I bought a house a mile and a half from the office. Talk about going from one extreme to the other.

muppetish's avatar

I’m extremely lucky. My commute to school is 25 minutes on a good day (40 minutes if the streets are congested due to construction.) I knew a guy who hopped three buses every Tuesday and Thursday to get to school… that’s around a three hour commute, a bit less on luckier days. Talk about a nightmare.

Driving isn’t an option for me. I give myself an hour and a half of buffer-zone time.

shego's avatar

When I got my first job, I didn’t have a car, so I would ride the bus and the train. I would take the last express bus downtown, then I would take the train and then another bus, or walk the seven blocks to work. On average it would take me 3 and a half hours to get to work plus it was 50 miles from where I lived. I will never do that again. And in order for me to get home, I took the bus, train, then another bus and then I walked a mile and a half to get home, because the express bus wasn’t running by the time I got off work.
It took a major toll on me both financially and physically. I ended up quitting the job because I could no longer afford to pay for my apartment, and take the buses.

free_fallin's avatar

I work from home now but I believe anything over an hour one way would be too much. I couldn’t take driving a total of 2 hours for work.

jerv's avatar

I drive about 25 miles each way. If the interstate is going good, I can make it in about 30 minutes. If I avoid I-5, it takes 45–70 minutes in Seattle traffic.

It’s a bit much considering my wages ($10/hr), but it was the only place hiring and I have yet to see a better job that I am qualified for within 90 minutes drive, so I am pretty well stuck with the commute. Hell, I can’t even get a minimum wage service job with a shorter commute here!

Sarcasm's avatar

For the past year, I’ve had a 7–14 mile commute, depending on which campus the class is at. And if things work out well, I’ll be having a 1–12 mile commute (depending on which campus) starting in October.

For me, the issue isn’t really about the length of the commute. It’s the ratio of time spent driving to time spent in class (or doing whatever).

For the first 2 years of college, I had a 35-mile commute (each way). For night classes (3 or 4 hours, once a week) that was fine. Or for 5-hour chunks of classes, that was fine. But if I had an hour of driving, followed by an hour-and-a-half class, followed by an hour of driving, that was unacceptable. What really made my blood boil was wasting 2 gallons of gas to get to the classroom door and see a yellow slip saying “Class cancelled.”
really though, from age 14 to 19, I had a shitty commute to everything, not just classes. The grocery store was a 20-minute drive, and if I wanted to go to any real civilization, it was at least 40 minutes.

downtide's avatar

Mine takes 1 hour by public transport, and it’s not much more than 4 miles. Just too far to walk, or else I would.

jerv's avatar

@downtide It’d take about an hour for the average person to walk that, but if it’s all level ground, you could probably bike it in under 20 minutes pretty easily. I’ve done that distance in under 10 minutes on my mountain bike, but I ride like a mad bastard.

downtide's avatar

I’m not as fit as the average person (I have a bad knee – I can manage a couple of miles but 4 is too much). And I don’t ride a bike for the same reason I can’t drive a car – because I have a visual disability – I’d probably be killed in under 20 minutes.

jerv's avatar

@downtide Yeah, I had to tone it down a bit after I hyper-extended my left knee a few years ago, but I still manage to beat the bus by a considerable margin. As for the eyesight, most Seattle drivers are blind, so you’d fit right in here.

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