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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 03-05-13, 12:29 PM   #1
Roody
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Time spent commuting

The average American commute time is now 25.5 minutes, according to USA Today. This is for cars, transit, bikes and walking combined.

How long is your commute? What's the longest commute you would put up with? How far could you ride your bike in 25.5 minutes?

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/n...onger/1963409/
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Old 03-05-13, 02:06 PM   #2
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Twice in my life I have been car free by the definition in this forum. The first time I rode 4 miles for one job and got a better one 6 miles away. Promotions allowed for me to stop renting and buy a house so we moved about 10-12 miles away. I commuted for a while by bicycle but soon switched to a motorcycle. That led to a ten year gap and two more promotions. Once we had children I was promoted again and we once again bought a better home in a nicer neighborhood and moved an additional 10 miles away. I got back into cycling and would commute 20-22 miles one way 4 days a week and car pool the fifth, on fridays, with a neighbor. Another promotion and a chance to move to a brand new Townhome about 35 miles from work and I became a utility cyclist but I commuted by motorcycle again. That went on for 8 years before I took a job closer to home but in management so I would only commute by bike on casual friday. One more promotion to Middle management and we bought a second home and rented out the one.

So I guess anything over 22 miles and I stopped commuting by bicycle alltogether.
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Old 03-05-13, 02:12 PM   #3
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Longest commute I've had has only been five miles (10 round trip). I still put on about 5000 miles a year on the bike.

I could have a longer commute now, but when I lived five miles away it was twelve hour days six days a week, so I really didn't want to ride my bike for two hours just to get to work. Leaving before the sun came up and staying inside till after it went down kinda sucked too.
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Old 03-05-13, 03:02 PM   #4
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I'm 10 miles from my office and it takes me around 40-45 minutes depending on traffic lights and how sore my legs are. If it was 10 miles without 30 lights, I'd be pushing to get it down to 30 minutes.
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Old 03-05-13, 07:26 PM   #5
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My ride to work in the morning is 40 minutes... My ride home from work in the afternoon is usually between 50-80 minutes, because of stopping along the way to do shopping or running some errands...In the early morning I can also run almost every red light and stop sign along the way because there is less traffic, it makes my commute a lot faster. During the afternoon rush hour it's impossibe to run through red lights or stop signs. My daily distance depends on which route I take, it's usually 16-18 miles round trip.
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Old 03-05-13, 07:46 PM   #6
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If I walk, it takes me 12 to 14 minutes. If I'm on my bike, it's four to five minutes.
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Old 03-05-13, 08:17 PM   #7
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I've always tried to live close to work. My present commute is about a 5 minute walk. I never tried it by bike, but I guess it would be 1 to 2 minutes, plus a couple minutes to take care of the bike at both ends--more time than walking, probably.

My all-time favorite commute was 4 miles, about 15 minutes by bike.

My longest commute ever was 25 miles. That was about 30 minutes by car or 3 hours by bus. I moved out of there real quick.
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Old 03-05-13, 08:52 PM   #8
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Shortest commute...about a minute, depending on if there was any traffic coming. I had to go down the steps of my residency hall, then across the street. If there was a car coming, my commute time could double to two minutes! This was when I lived right off the campus of my university, and the behavioral and social sciences building where I worked and at most of my classes, was literally across the street.

Longest commute..the 50-60 odd miles between my hometown and the university, during the year I couldn't pay my tuition bill fast enough to reserve my room for the next semester. I reduced the amount of driving I had to do by scheduling all of my work and classes intelligently. The first semester I drove the full 60 miles to Montevallo, drove 30 miles back to my sister's house (not quite halfway between home and school), 30 to school, 30 back to her house, 30 to school, 60 home. I lived in my car from Tues to Thursday, sleeping on the floor at my sister's house. The next semester I only had to drive 2 days, and did the full 60-60 both days. Since I didn't have to pay dorm rent, or rent at home, I was flush with money...a lot of which went to gas.

My current commute is...4 miles. I'd like to narrow that down to a block and a half, but am waiting for an apartment downtown to open up. My drive to the grocery store is 2.5 miles, but little of that is friendly to bikes. The first half is a busy highway, and the latter is a six-lane stroad that I loathe even putting eyes upon, let alone driving. There's a little neighborhood grocery on a side street off my commuting path which I might go into one day, but the neighborhood is dodgy.
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Old 03-05-13, 09:45 PM   #9
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Actually, my commute is about an hour by bus and train. I could take a bike and ferry but that would add another half hour plus it's better to sleep for 40 minutes on the bus instead. I think most transit commuters going to New York City have an hour and 10 minute commute more or less.
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Old 03-05-13, 09:51 PM   #10
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45-55 minutes each way by bike. I enjoy every minute and sometimes wish it was longer.

I bet these folks don't though!

Portland region's recession helped create more 'extreme commuters,' Census says
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Old 03-05-13, 10:28 PM   #11
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There was another news story today that stated over 600,000 Americans commuted > 1.5 hours each way daily

http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/05/news.../megacommutes/

Interestingly there were cyclists among this lot,

Quote:
Of those long commuters, 61% made the trip alone in a car or truck. Twenty three percent took public transit, 13% carpooled, and 3% rode a bike.
Personally, I like riding a bike, but there are lots of reasons not to spend 3 hours a day, day-in, day-out, on a bicycle.

I'm pretty sure other aspects of your life would suffer.
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Old 03-05-13, 10:36 PM   #12
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I'd rather commute 1.5 hour each way on a bicycle vs 60 minutes each way (or longer!) in a car.
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Old 03-05-13, 10:44 PM   #13
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Maybe I dont get "it" we moved to a small town almost three years ago to maybe give our teens a chance at the values and lifestyle my bride and I enjoyed at their age-ya we both took a huge paycut,but the cost of living verses the quality of life is well worth it-I ride two miles to work-she cut her commute in half and at least one teen bikes to school(1.5 miles)I have made all my in town errands on bike.
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Old 03-05-13, 11:22 PM   #14
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The recession has impacted where people live and work. Some people who once lived 15-20 minutes away from work, like Aaron in the article, were laid off during the recession and eventually found work farther away. I don't know how many people are in exactly Aaron's situation but my guess is that most people with these "megacommutes" were the "happy in the 'burb" types who suddently find themselves surrounded with increased numbers of people just like them...thus increasing their commute time. It isn't just distance that determines commute time but the number of other people on the road too. Once gasoline hits $5/gallon I bet for many people these megacommutes will diminish.
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Old 03-05-13, 11:25 PM   #15
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There was another news story today that stated over 600,000 Americans commuted > 1.5 hours each way daily

http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/05/news.../megacommutes/

Interestingly there were cyclists among this lot,



Personally, I like riding a bike, but there are lots of reasons not to spend 3 hours a day, day-in, day-out, on a bicycle.

I'm pretty sure other aspects of your life would suffer.
To each his own. For a few years I had a 100 mile round-trip commute. Most of the time, I did it by bike. The sixty miles over coast hills and along a small river on the way home were like having a vacation every day, since the vacations my wife and I took mostly involved bike touring. Many days I really didn't want to get on the bike at 3:00 A.M. to ride in to work, but I never regretted the ride once I was doing it.

In fairness, I was riding in a picturesque setting with very low traffic. I wouldn't want such a long commute in other places I have lived. Many times I only had ten or twenty cars pass me on the way in to work and less than half that number on the way home.
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Old 03-05-13, 11:38 PM   #16
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100 mile RT commute !
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Old 03-05-13, 11:51 PM   #17
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The recession has impacted where people live and work. Some people who once lived 15-20 minutes away from work, like Aaron in the article, were laid off during the recession and eventually found work farther away. I don't know how many people are in exactly Aaron's situation but my guess is that most people with these "megacommutes" were the "happy in the 'burb" types who suddently find themselves surrounded with increased numbers of people just like them...thus increasing their commute time. It isn't just distance that determines commute time but the number of other people on the road too. Once gasoline hits $5/gallon I bet for many people these megacommutes will diminish.
Ya think? However it doesn't seem to have helped in London. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...rse-women.html

And they even have a good mass transit system. But how will they shorten the commute here if they can't sell their houses and rent keeps getting higher?
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Old 03-06-13, 12:20 AM   #18
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I like to keep my travel times at below one hour, which works out to 10-12 miles each way.
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Old 03-06-13, 12:37 AM   #19
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The recession has impacted where people live and work. Some people who once lived 15-20 minutes away from work, like Aaron in the article, were laid off during the recession and eventually found work farther away. I don't know how many people are in exactly Aaron's situation but my guess is that most people with these "megacommutes" were the "happy in the 'burb" types who suddently find themselves surrounded with increased numbers of people just like them...thus increasing their commute time. It isn't just distance that determines commute time but the number of other people on the road too. Once gasoline hits $5/gallon I bet for many people these megacommutes will diminish.
Hope the housing market picks up so those folks can afford to sell their houses and move closer to work. Or maybe the job market will pick up so they can find work closer to home.
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Old 03-06-13, 12:44 AM   #20
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I like to keep my travel times at below one hour, which works out to 10-12 miles each way.
I have about the same limit myself. 30 minutes one way is stretching it.
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Old 03-06-13, 12:46 AM   #21
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Actually, my commute is about an hour by bus and train. I could take a bike and ferry but that would add another half hour plus it's better to sleep for 40 minutes on the bus instead. I think most transit commuters going to New York City have an hour and 10 minute commute more or less.
I believe the article said transit users tend to have the longest commutes, IIRC.
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Old 03-06-13, 01:18 AM   #22
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The average American commute time is now 25.5 minutes, according to USA Today. This is for cars, transit, bikes and walking combined.

How long is your commute? What's the longest commute you would put up with? How far could you ride your bike in 25.5 minutes?

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/n...onger/1963409/
My commute to work is about 12-15 minutes, depending on my luck with traffic lights. (I live 2.5 miles from my job.) I've concluded that my average bicycle riding speed in-city is about 10 mph, no matter how fast I ride between traffic signals, up and down hills, etc. It's like a Hubble's Constant of urban commuting. Given that seemingly immutable 10 mph average, I could probably do about 5 miles in the average US commuting time. The longest commute I could put up with is 10 miles each way, or one hour of riding. I like to ride a bike, and riding early in the morning, before the traffic gets bad, is a very pleasant experience. However, I also like to sleep, I'm not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, and I have to be at work by 7:00 AM. I'm not at all willing to get up at 4:00 AM every day in order to do a two hour ride to get to my job. I respect, even admire, those willing to do it, but I'm pretty content with my wussy 15 minute jaunt, thank you very much.

Last edited by bragi; 03-06-13 at 01:50 AM. Reason: missing preposition
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Old 03-06-13, 01:20 AM   #23
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When I finally started incorporating the bike into my commute, I was already a multi-modal commuter. My r/t time (with or without the bike) was roughly 4 hours, longer if I didn't get to the first bus stop after work on time. I have an MP3 player and this knack for sleeping on the bus, so it wasn't all bad...

Incorporated the bike for a couple of reasons, one of which that a highway widening project forced the bus route to detour. Instead of a two block walk, I had a 3/4 mile walk- not good when the employer had already made allowances for me showing up later than everyone else due to the inefficient bus lines here.
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Old 03-06-13, 01:46 AM   #24
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My multi-modal (bike-train) commute takes 40 minutes each way. I ride to a station that's farther from my house so as to spend a little more time on the bike, but I want to find a job that's a little closer to home so I can cycle the whole way and eliminate the train ride.
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Old 03-06-13, 09:30 AM   #25
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My commute to work is about 12-15 minutes, depending on my luck with traffic lights. (I live 2.5 miles from my job.) I've concluded that my average bicycle riding speed in-city is about 10 mph, no matter how fast I ride between traffic signals, up and down hills, etc. It's like a Hubble's Constant of urban commuting. Given that seemingly immutable 10 mph average, I could probably do about 5 miles in the average US commuting time. The longest commute I could put up with is 10 miles each way, or one hour of riding. I like to ride a bike, and riding early in the morning, before the traffic gets bad, is a very pleasant experience. However, I also like to sleep, I'm not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, and I have to be at work by 7:00 AM. I'm not at all willing to get up at 4:00 AM every day in order to do a two hour ride to get to my job. I respect, even admire, those willing to do it, but I'm pretty content with my wussy 15 minute jaunt, thank you very much.
That's pretty interesting about the constancy of urban speeds. I came to the same conclusion after keeping a journal of all bike trips for a couple years. My average speed was practically the same when I was in a gung-ho training fad as when I was nursing an injured knee. I concluded that, with so many other variables also determining cruising speed, rider exertion was only a small factor.

However, my average speed is 11 mph, not 10. Maybe my city is easier to ride in, or maybe I run more red lights than you do.

I guess that the maximum distance I could live from work, without exceeding 30 minutes commute time, would be 5.5 miles. But there are times I like to walk to work, so 1.75 miles would be a better maximum commute distance for me. Luckily, there's a lot of suitable housing within that distance from my work place.
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