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Old 05-10-2012, 12:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Long Commutes Are Sucking the Life Out of You

I can speak to this one. I used to have a 45 minute commute in traffic and hated it. I've now been at my new job for a bit over a year and I have a 13 or so minute commute now. It is a world of difference. I do feel happier and less stressed, etc. I know a lot of EMers get great mileage, but I know a lot of us also have long commutes (some have really long commutes). Having experience with both sides of this debate I can definitely say the long commute was not worth it for me, and that isn't even considering the financial side of things.

Long Commutes Are Sucking the Life Out of You: Shortening Yours by 20 Minutes Could Save Your Health


Now, considering the financial side of things, MetroMPG posted this link a few days ago in another thread. It is a great read on how much commuting really costs (it is mentioned in the lifehacker article as well). Summed up it basically shows and calculates that moving 1 mile closer to work (or getting a job 1 mile closer to home) will save you around $800 per year. That is not a worst case scenario even!

My favorite part of the article, just crazy stuff:
Quote:
So each mile you live from work steals $795 per year from you in commuting costs.

$795 per year will pay the interest on $15,900 of house borrowed at a 5% interest rate.

In other words, a logical person should be willing to pay about $15,900 more for a house that is one mile closer to work, and $477,000 more for a house that is 30 miles closer to work. For a double-commuting couple, these numbers are $31,800 and $954,000.
The True Cost of Commuting | Mr. Money Mustache

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Old 05-10-2012, 12:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I can also say that long commutes arent great at all. I used to drive 200 km twice a week and even that was not fun at all. I was always speeding and that lead to stress from speeding tickets etc. My motto was and still is: Its more cheaper to drive as fast as possible than save few bucks on fuel.

Now I have 4 km "work" distance and no problems and stress levels are minimal from traffic.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The short 3mile commute I have now is much nicer than the 20mile 30 minute commute I had years ago. I even occasionally ride my bike even though there are a couple of nasty hills that I have to deal with.

Though because the commute is so short I can't get the best MPG's possible, the fact that even at 20-22 in town a tank still lasts me about a month.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This really is huge. Long commutes are an enormous waste of time and money. About 11 years ago, I moved about 3 miles further away from work, from 9 to 12 miles. It was dumb. If I had it to do again, I wouldn't.

This applies even moreso to me, as I am an occasional bike commuter. I am sure that if I had my old commute, I would take the bike much more often, as 9 miles is a lot easier than 12, especially when a nice chunk of those last three miles is up a big hill.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEnemy View Post
The short 3mile commute I have now is much nicer than the 20mile 30 minute commute I had years ago. I even occasionally ride my bike even though there are a couple of nasty hills that I have to deal with.

Though because the commute is so short I can't get the best MPG's possible, the fact that even at 20-22 in town a tank still lasts me about a month.

from what I've read here, it seems like it's all about the precious mpg average. I some times detect a note of dissapointment in some posts complaining that their commute is not long enough to get good numbers.

Remember, there is one number that matters, the number of dollars that leave your pocket and go into the tank.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Daox -

Yup, it's definitely damaged my health. I got a kidney stone last year and it's absolutely related to my commuting. And don't forget the skin cancer! :

Increased Car Time Puts People at Risk for Skin Cancer - SkinCancer.org
Quote:
The time spent traveling in the car puts drivers at risk for skin cancer. The first ever in vitro study showing that window film on glass protects against photoaging, skin cancer and ocular damage was presented this spring by Eric R. Bernstein, M.D., at the annual meeting of American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery. The in vitro testing of glass fitted with LLumar UVShield window film reduced transmitted radiation of all UVA and UVB frequencies by 99.6 percent.
I developed two strategies for mitigating the sunlight hitting my face and left arm, a monster sun visor and a "shadey shelf", respectively.

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Old 05-10-2012, 01:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Funny... I'm opposite... I moved closer to work and now can work from home (significantly better internet connection) but I actually miss my commute. I never commuted during rush hour times and used to listen to "books on tape" and really enjoyed the time alone. No question about the money aspect, but for me it was quite a stress reliever.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That's why I'm bailing on my job later this summer. Commuting expenses, heartburn and time away from the family just aren't worth it. I'll be doing something useless for very little money later this year, but coming out ahead.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I still commute to the same place I did 20 years ago, which is a 33 mile one way drive to work, and look forward to it.

I leave the house early, drive slowly on old beat up country roads, get great mileage, and feel relaxed when I get to work.

The drive home is even better, as the sun is up and I get a chance to look at the view while creeping along.

Sure, there are times when I which I was closer so that a bicycle could used, but putting in the car, or on the motorcycle is very Zen for me.

Jim.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I justify my 20 mile (40 miles daily) commute by using cheap renewable fuel. My wife's car and mine combined use 750 gallons of fuel a year, and we save $2000 a year over petroleum diesel.

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