Author Topic: Is it truly rational to move to eliminate car commuting?  (Read 3399 times)

wesleyshaver

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Is it truly rational to move to eliminate car commuting?
« on: July 02, 2015, 08:17:41 AM »
I'm about to start a new job and I can easily move within walking distance of the workplace.  I would still need my car to travel during the work day.  Currently my commuting costs would be approx. $200.00 per month (fuel, maintenance, depreciation, etc. all included).  I could move closer to cut this amount to $0.00 but my heating and tax burden would increase by about $300.00 per month.  The time spent commuting is irrelevant because I wouldn't be productive with that time anyway (listening to a podcast in my car vs. on my couch isn't worth anything).  In this situation is it truly rational to eliminate a car commute?  It seems doing so would actually cost me money.  Am I missing something?

GuitarStv

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Re: Is it truly rational to move to eliminate car commuting?
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2015, 08:23:16 AM »
You need to look at the whole picture when eliminating a driving commute.  Sure, there's the price of gas and wear and tear on your car.  There's also the benefit of (enforced) exercise daily, significantly reduced stress (based on every study of commuting I've ever seen), and the ability to do more in your free time (in a car you're very limited with what is possible, you don't have to spend your time listening to a podcast at home).

mskyle

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Re: Is it truly rational to move to eliminate car commuting?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2015, 08:21:38 PM »
$100 a month to have a walking commute seems great to me. I usually clean or cook while I listen to podcasts. I guess if you have a lot of podcasts that you're seriously committed to listening to you wouldn't actually save useful time on your commute, but you'd at least be more flexible with your time.

Lynne

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Re: Is it truly rational to move to eliminate car commuting?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2015, 09:37:27 PM »
It's also really nice to live close enough to work that you can go home for lunch every day.  I find it makes eating out much less tempting.  :)

Krnten

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Re: Is it truly rational to move to eliminate car commuting?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2015, 02:49:25 AM »
I agree with PPs.  It's hard to put a price on no commute/walking commute, but for me after going from 1 hr train to 10 min walk, I can say it made my days feel longer when I had the walk.  I'd give up a lot more than $100/month to walk to work.

Kiwi Mustache

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Re: Is it truly rational to move to eliminate car commuting?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2015, 04:27:15 AM »
Sure, cutting out car commuting is nice.

However...

Days when it is pissing down with rain, it is dangerous and a rather unpleasant experience for me to ride in the rain. I drive my car instead. Sure, it costs me $3-4 to do so each day, but sometimes I wake up and just don't feel like riding my bike because the weather is shocking, I'm going somewhere else after work or lunchtime where I require a car, etc.

If you aren't saving money and are spending $100 more per month just to be able to walk/bike to work, not worth it. That $1200 per year you would invest or do something meaningful with it.

Cutting commuting costs is nice, but just not 100% practical for everyone. I'm more conscious every time I use the car now, but I'm still reliant on having a car. I do enjoy riding my bike to work though, it is good fun and after 9-12 months or riding to work 3-4 times per week I made my money back on the bike purchase which is pretty cool.

kamille

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Re: Is it truly rational to move to eliminate car commuting?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2015, 04:30:50 AM »
How many minutes a day would you save by living closer to work? Is the driving you are doing now stressful, such as dealing with traffic, construction, road rage, etc? Will you also be closer to other places you enjoy visiting by moving? I personally find driving in my city very stressful and choose to take the nearby public transportation to work. I find it easier to focus on reading/listening to music while just sitting there than having to pay attention to the road and other drivers simultaneously. In the end, it is up to you what you value as priorities and sacrifices.

forummm

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Re: Is it truly rational to move to eliminate car commuting?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2015, 05:42:20 AM »
(listening to a podcast in my car vs. on my couch isn't worth anything)

The decision is a little complicated. But I disagree with the quoted. I much prefer to listen at home. I can listen while mowing, doing laundry, playing a computer game, solving my 5x5x5 Rubik's cubes, etc. Being in traffic is irritating.

music lover

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Re: Is it truly rational to move to eliminate car commuting?
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2015, 07:51:48 AM »
You need to look at the whole picture when eliminating a driving commute.  Sure, there's the price of gas and wear and tear on your car.  There's also the benefit of (enforced) exercise daily, significantly reduced stress (based on every study of commuting I've ever seen), and the ability to do more in your free time (in a car you're very limited with what is possible, you don't have to spend your time listening to a podcast at home).

You have to look at the whole picture from both sides when commuting, because everyone has different circumstances.

Not everyone has a stressful drive to work. For example, most of my commute includes 4 miles on a highway and from my home to work takes 8 minutes. It would stress me severely to be faced with a bike commute on that road that has a gravel shoulder and is poorly lit. You can't pay me to ride a bike on that road. However, in a car, however, it's a calm 8 minute drive.

Wear and tear?? It's an 8 km (5 mile) drive...I still need my car for other things, so the 10 miles a day of added wear is negligible in the long run.

Time saved? I have an 8-minute commute...that saves time.

pagoconcheques

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Re: Is it truly rational to move to eliminate car commuting?
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2015, 08:04:38 AM »
Consider situating this decision process as a possible inflection point in the long narrative that comprises the rest of your life.  Becoming accustomed to not having a car at all will likely pay huge financial and health dividends over the whole story arc even if it doesn't in the near future. 

Ricky

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Re: Is it truly rational to move to eliminate car commuting?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2015, 06:38:15 PM »
You need to look at the whole picture when eliminating a driving commute.  Sure, there's the price of gas and wear and tear on your car.  There's also the benefit of (enforced) exercise daily, significantly reduced stress (based on every study of commuting I've ever seen), and the ability to do more in your free time (in a car you're very limited with what is possible, you don't have to spend your time listening to a podcast at home).
Wear and tear?? It's an 8 km (5 mile) drive...I still need my car for other things, so the 10 miles a day of added wear is negligible in the long run.

Point is...not many people have a < 10 min car commute. And if you do, then I agree, it wouldn't make sense to move just so you could walk or have a bit better biking situation. The national average commute time is 25 minutes one-way. So, you're in the minority. If you had that 25 min commute, it may make sense to move. For you, it doesn't. For OP, it probably does.