Your work commute and commuting history

Discussion in 'Chez Ziggy' started by Jim Kenney, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. Jim Kenney

    Jim Kenney Travel Correspondent Industry Insider Team Gathermeister

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    What is your work commute and commuting history?


    Thought it might be kind of fun and/or enlightening to share commuting stories from around the US. What is your current work commute and how has your commuting pattern evolved over time? If you work at home, that is cool too. How did you pull that off? The more varied the commute stories the better:) If you no longer commute tell us some past war stories.


    The Wash DC area has really bad traffic and rush hour lasts about four hours every morning and evening. I have done it all in the way of commuting to work in the Wash DC area over the last 40 years; private car, carpool, 15 passenger vanpool, commuter train, subway, public bus, and bicycle. Currently, I am semi-retired and do a pretty reasonable 15 mile/30 minute commute each way two or three work days per week. I drive myself in my own vehicle. From Apr-Oct I do about 50% of my commutes by bicycle and enjoy that as a decent form of exercise. Been doing the fair-weather bike commute thing for a dozen years now. From 1986 to 1999 I commuted 70 miles each way mostly on I95 in northern Virginia. UGLY commute with horrendous traffic, once saw two angry commuters jump out of their cars and brawl on exit ramp asphalt, but the pretty community I lived in was great on the weekends and was a cheap place to raise kids. Best commute I ever had was from 1999 to 2005, 18 mins by my own vehicle to free parking at office.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
  2. luliski

    luliski Out on the slopes Skier

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    I live three miles from the hospital where I work. I drive there. I used to ride my bike, but now I work longer hours and I just want to be home ASAP when the day is done. When I lived and worked in San Francisco, I commuted by bike. It wasn't a long distance, but the way home was uphill, and riding a mountain bike (all I had back then) in the financial district wasn't fun. When I lived across the bay in Oakland, I took the "casual carpool" across the Bay Bridge to work, and then took the bus home.
     
  3. scott43

    scott43 Making fresh tracks Skier

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    Toronto commuting..I live 26kms from work..about 14 miles. I drive, occasionally bike, drive is about 20 mins. I fortunately go against traffic. In general, commuting in Toronto is brutal if you're going into town. On a typical snow storm day, that 20 min drive home turns into 1.5 hours as the great unwashed masses who have rarely driven in snow try to learn by playing car pinball....
     
  4. coskigirl

    coskigirl Making fresh tracks Skier

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    My current commute is about 12 miles through suburban and farmland. It usually takes me about 25 minutes. It's been this way for about 8 years. On occasion I'll ride to work but that takes a lot of logistical planning to have clothes/food at work when I get there and I can't bring my computer home with me either the day before or the day of a cycle commute. I'm just not comfortable riding with a computer on my back and frankly don't like riding my road bike with a backpack at which is why I plan for food/clothes ahead of time. We do have showers and lockers so that's nice. When it snows it can turn into a bit of a disaster depending on how the storm comes in. One time it took me 4 hours to get home. I'm fortunate that my current role has me working remotely from most of my colleagues so when it does snow I can chose to work from home to avoid the madness.

    In the past I've had longer commutes both here in Colorado and in Northern Virginia so I 'm well aware of how lucky I have it.
     
  5. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    When we are up on the hill, it is about 35 minutes to Northstar. For me anything more than a 45 minute (average) commute is too much..even when I was living in the Philly burbs.
     


  6. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    My story is similar to @coskigirl except that I long since gave up on riding my bike to work - my commute is is a bit farther, and aside from my knee issues with road riding, I found it too distracting. Packing everything up - spending almost an hour each way - then needing to shower when I got there, figure out where to put sweaty clothing, etc. It was a further distraction - as evening approached, half my brain was busy with checking the temperature, the rain situation, how long until it got dark ... and like @luliski , sometimes it had just been a long day, and the idea of having to bike for almost an hour before I could relax was just too much.

    So anyway, at typical commute times, my drive is 25-30 minutes, largely past pastures and cows. If I have to leave right at 5pm, I usually take the slightly longer, more scenic route - it's about 35 minutes, but it almost never varies, and it has even more pasture, cows, and horses, with better views of the foothills.

    Right now, there's a bus stop about a block from my office - but to ride the bus, I would have to drive to a park and ride and cross a highway. The park and ride is immediately on my way to the office, so I just have kind of given up and drive. This is the first job for which I've had to pay to park. The bus would be free because of a pass through work, but I'm addicted to my car.

    In the past, I sometimes rode a motorcycle to work, but it was still sort of a pain to get all the gear together and then figure out where to put it in the office (I've only worked in open floor plan the last decade - no personal space). And again, excessive attention to weather rather than work.

    An old co-worker broke his laptop by falling while skateboarding! I believe he was on the way to the bus stop.

    When I find myself getting too cranky at traffic, I remind myself of my NoVa roots, where my commute was "30 minutes unless it was 2-3 hours." First it was from Fairfax to Herndon, which was nice and short. But then I moved to Manassas to save money ...
     
  7. Dadskier

    Dadskier Getting off the lift Skier

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    An hour or so unless everyone stays home for some reason, then it's 35 minutes.
     
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  8. fullStack

    fullStack Rad. Skier

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    Location:
    Maple Valley, WA
    Usually takes about 1 hour to get to downtown Seattle when leaving at 5:45 am.
    • Leave at 6:30 instead: +20 mins
    • Wreck: +20 mins
    • Rain: + 10 mins
    • > 10 left lane Prius: +5 mins
    • Officer saving the world by pulling over a single occupancy vehicle in the HOV lane: +5 mins
    • Snow or ice: Don't event think about it, work from home. Or go skiing instead.
    Spend about $4,800 per year on parking (which is about 2.5X the cost of season passes for family of 4 @ Crystal Mountain).
     
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  9. Bill Talbot

    Bill Talbot Vintage Gear Curator Industry Insider

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    20 miles on backroads over mountains and through state forests... BOTH ways ;)
    For the last 25 years
     
  10. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    I forgot to mention - my 25-30 minute commute becomes 15-20 when I drive in at 10:30 or later (barring construction). Always surprising to me, as it doesn't *feel* like there's that much traffic in the morning.
     
  11. Chris Walker

    Chris Walker Ullr Is Lord Skier

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    Seven miles = 20 minutes in normal traffic, 13 minutes during off hours. Record set during an ice storm that blew in mid-day: 1 hour, 20 minutes.

    I explored public transportation. Two buses and a train would expand the 7-mile commute to over an hour. I've considered riding my bike but with traffic around here that would be considered a suicide attempt.

    For 7 years I commuted to Colorado Springs and 44 miles each way (55 minutes normal, 4 hours record). Not sure why I did that for so long...
     
  12. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    Recruiters seem to have an issue with understanding that "Greater Denver Area" does not mean I want to commute to Denver or beyond from Longmont. Despite my LinkedIn jobs profile specifically spelling out the exact cities/towns I am interested in, and the exact cities/towns I am not interested in.
     
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  13. snofun3

    snofun3 Booting up Skier

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    My first job was 1/2 hour to 45 minutes depending on traffic (southern CT).

    The second one (FFLD county CT to downtown NYC) was 2 hours each way on car/train/subway. Killer commute, but I loved the job, and moving closer to NYC was expensive. Later as the interweb became better I ended up working from home most of the time.

    After closing the NYC office, I was directed to move to Houston (not a chance in hell), but ultimely they relented to the Fort Lauderdale office ogsmile. Now I'm 8 miles from the office when I do go in, but often just watch the lizards doing the wild thing on the deck as I do my work. Or sometimes work from my buddy's house in Islamorada and take the boat out and snorkel on "lunch hour".
     
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  14. SKI-3PO

    SKI-3PO Out on the slopes Skier

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    Went from reverse train commute to walking across street to 40ish minute drive all at same company, 3 different locations. The part that makes me crazy about my commute is I go to work early and come home early. Commute in has no traffic while ride home can be busy. Must be nice to come in late and leave early.
     
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  15. Varmintmist

    Varmintmist Bear, with furnture. Skier

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    When I worked in NJ and lived in PA, it was 40 min on Sun morning, 1:20 weekdays, and fugettaboutit when it snowed. Then there was the "glare delay" I had lived or been all over the US and it seems that the sun coming up in the east is ALWAYS a surprise for NJ drivers.

    Currently I am 11 mi out and it can be 18-30 min depending on if the guy who was never at a parade decides he is going to be first float in one of his own making. 2 lane, no passing to speak of, curvy, which is a benefit when on the scooter and not behind a rolling road block.
     
  16. Started at 53

    Started at 53 You can call me Jay Skier

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    In the past few weeks, I have gone from home (Florida) to Malmo, Sweden, Sankt Polten, Austria, then home for two days, then to Wisconsin, now in Munich, next week in Paris, then home for a week, then the UK for a month (Scotland, England, Wales and back to Scotland), then home for two days, then Charlotte, then back to Munich, then Alborg Denmark, then Prague, then home for two weeks, then Villamora Portugal, then Newcastle in the UK.....

    I think I win the prize for the worst commutes, each of those are for a week at a time.
     
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  17. Muleski

    Muleski Skiing the powder Industry Insider

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    I spent 35 years doing the same relative commute. The houses in the same town changed, as did the office buildings in Boston. I always had a parking spot in whatever building. The traffic kept getting worse, the "rush hour" earlier and later, and then we had disaster like the big dig. I went from leaving my house before 7:00, and having it take about 50 minutes to more like 1:30 leaving at about 6:00. I'm not a great natural morning guy, but you become conditioned.

    At the same time, I also spend a lot of time on an plane. That part grew. Not like Jay by any means. I was very spoiled for the last ten years, but almost always flying on a corporate plane. I treasure every single flight, and felt very lucky. Never felt like Mr. Big, etc. It sure makes travel easy. Particularly when where you are headed is not close to a direct commercial flight. Miss that.

    Now, I work in an small office that a I lease about a ten minute walk from our house. If I wear a button down shirt, I'm dressed up, and that's only because I want to look semi-legit to somebody who I don't know, on their monitor! No way on earth could I go back to a daily three hour commute. Not a chance.

    When our daughter took her first job out of college, one of the draws was that "she got to travel." My wife and I did not say a thing. It was pretty much all domestic, but in three years the thrill of travel sure wore off, particularly when it was back to see the same clients in the middle of nowhere. Or she she had to use her precious recreation time to do boring stuff like laundry, cleaning, food shopping, etc. She has solved that one. Better job, more money, based in a mountain town. Dog goes to work, and goes skinning in the AM with her.

    One thing that I'm pretty proud of is that in all of those years, I bet there were no more than 10 winter Fridays when I wasn't in a car headed North the minute the kids were out of school. Other wise it was by 7PM. And I traveled on a Sunday afternoon/night about five times. Maybe. Once or twice being picked up by the company plane at the airport closest to our skiing after a good day. Heck, we had to fly anyways. Just a slight detour. Only used the plane to carry skis "a few" times.

    Back in the day, I was also one of those guys who actually did work after the kids were in bed, pretty often. Dictating a lot of correspondence. Ha! Remember those days? What a dinosaur.
     
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  18. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    My parents always thought it would be neat for me to get a job where I traveled. They never understood why I thought it would be awful. Friends of mine who travel for work never actually get to "visit" in the places they go, even if they're (rarely) interesting locations - it's looooong days with no time to see the sights.
     
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  19. Chris Walker

    Chris Walker Ullr Is Lord Skier

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    Right? I get calls from recruiters in Boulder. Yeah Lone tree to Boulder in rush hour. no thanks!
     
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  20. coskigirl

    coskigirl Making fresh tracks Skier

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    Lafayette, CO
    I travel for work sometimes. The last couple of months it's been lighter because of lsat prep but I'm starting to hear rumblings of an intense second half of the year. Sometimes I'm able to tag on to trip to see sights, but most of the time I can't or I want to get home for various reasons. Often I end up traveling on Saturday and/or Sunday to get to England and be ready for Monday or Tuesday meetings. At least now that I'm used to the area I go in England I feel somewhat at home so its not so disruptive.
     
    Muleski likes this.

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