Author Topic: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.  (Read 8152 times)

mpbaker22

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600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« on: March 05, 2013, 12:37:10 PM »
600,000 is a huge number, but also only ~.3% of the work force.  I think 1 person commuting 50 miles is a huge number though ...
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/05/us-usa-commute-idUSBRE92410S20130305

marty998

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2013, 01:45:57 PM »
I have a 3 & 1/2 hour daily commute. Gives me enough time to read through MMM forums each day
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 07:33:12 PM by marty998 »

adam

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2013, 02:46:48 PM »
I drove 160 miles a day for 2 years.  Never again.

BlueMR2

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2013, 03:58:34 PM »
I commuted to college at 60 miles each way, every day I had classes, for 5 years.

Spent many years commuting 25 miles each way to work, until work moved closer to my home (tried to find a house out by work before, but people were asking absolutely ridiculous numbers, it was much cheaper to commute!).  Now just 12 miles each way.  Not going to get much better than that, there really aren't any places with on staff computer programmers out where I live.  :-)

dragoncar

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2013, 04:10:37 PM »
I commuted 55 miles (each way) for a college internship.  Gas was cheap enough that it made sense to live with the parents.  Never again though.

mm31

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2013, 04:47:50 PM »
it's not uncommon for people working in DC to live 2-3 hours away in VA. Infernal.

SwordGuy

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2013, 05:47:29 PM »
it's not uncommon for people working in DC to live 2-3 hours away in VA. Infernal.

Yes, and even more live more than a mile from DC...

mlipps

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2013, 07:03:30 PM »
I work in Chicago, my boss lives in Michigan. It take her an hour and forty minutes to get there. My favorite part of the whole insanity is that her husband doesn't even live with her, he lives in Manhattan. The entire situation is mind boggling to me.

cats

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2013, 07:12:04 PM »
I am about 15 min/10 miles shy of this.  If you have two workers in a large metro area it's not that uncommon for their jobs to be 50+ miles apart.  We've crunched the numbers and for the moment it is the option that minimizes our total commute time/cost, and allows for putting the time to semi-productive use by eliminating the need for driving (which would not necessarily be any faster!).  That said, there is no way I will do this for years and years.

Nate R

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2013, 07:12:44 PM »
It's probably one of my most Antimustachian acts, my 55 mile commute. Only takes me about an hour though, going the opposite direction of most of the traffic. And I do it in a Honda Insight, getting about 60 MPG.

marty998

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2013, 07:36:32 PM »
Wow some of these 60 mile commutes blow mine away. But I bet none of you have had to sweat it out on a Sydney train before.

About a month ago the network literally melted when temps got to 48C. Took me 3 hours to get home.

No does public transport stuffups like Sydney.

Tyler

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2013, 10:03:11 PM »
I once worked with a guy who commuted from Sacramento to Palo Alto -- 120 miles one way through Bay Area traffic.  He got an apartment near the office so he wouldn't have to do this every day, but it was often enough for me to think he had a screw loose.

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2013, 01:21:59 AM »
i once met someone whilst i was living in Austria who was living in my city but working in London! That was more a monday-friday in london, weekends in Austria, than everyday commuting obviously but how mad is that?! they said quality of life was better in Austria for the kids and they loved their set-up. Personally I'd prefer the time with my family but hey ho.

paddedhat

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2013, 04:24:48 AM »
We currently live in Monroe county PA. I see that the cencus bureau awarded this a "top ten" on their list of megacommuter locations. I live exactly 100 miles from Wall St. Every morning thousands of commuters get up, (1/2 way through the night) and drive to the dozens of strategically located bus parking lots. Then, if the gods are smiling apon them, it's a 2-1/2 hour ride to Grand Central station. The balance of the trip is determined by exactly how far you are from the office when you jump off the bus. At the end of the day, if they are lucky, they stumble back in the front door, no earlier that 7PM. From 1986 to the start of the great recession this madness TRIPLED the size of this rural county. Since then it's been like somebody pulled the plug out of the tub. It's a slow moving train wreck. The housing market collapsed, a significant portion of the commuters lost their jobs, and the population dropped to the point that the schools have about 20% less kids.

We now live in a case study of what happens when our society collectively "jumps the shark"  Megacommuting was an unsustainable bad idea, twenty five years ago, when it started here. Back then, local taxes were stupid cheap, fuel was cheap, housing was 1/4 the price of the metro area, and this was a rural Mayberry like place to be. Now it's a mess, with a boom town mentality that prevented any logical growth control until it was too late, thousands of foreclosed and abandoned homes, and rapidly increasing poverty. It's so F'd up that some of the gated communities are now saturated with crime, and gangs.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 04:40:48 AM by paddedhat »

ScienceRules

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2013, 05:11:21 AM »
For half of fourth grade, I (with my dad and sister) would commute 1 1/2 hours each way to go to school. It ended around winter break when my parents decided the special program was not worth getting us up at 4:30 every morning. I actually have fond memories of it because I got to rid the ferry every day and because went early enough to beat alot of commuters we had time to go the pool every morning before school, but that's just through my 8 year old rosy glasses. My mom continued to commute that far every day for 1 1/2 years. My parents realized how ridiculous it was and now when they move they aim to live as close to work as possible (it helps that they no longer try to live in the "right school district" since my sis and I grew up). The best commute they've had so far is a 10 block walk in downtown Chicago. My mom loves it!

mpbaker22

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2013, 09:56:16 AM »
Wow, lots of long commutes out there!
I thought my 13 miles each way was insufferable.

I did talk to a guy that commutes 100 miles each way every day.  Even at a mustachian cost per mile, that's about $6,800 a year on commuting (4 days a week).

Jack

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2013, 10:30:04 AM »
It's so F'd up that some of the gated communities are now saturated with crime, and gangs.

Well at least that's convenient enough: just move the lock on the gate to the outside!

My commute is 28 miles each way (all freeway, so "only" 34 minutes each way if I avoid rush hour). I got sucked into it because for the first six months working for this company I was at a client site 3 miles from my house. Still, it's bad enough that I negotiated a 4-day (10 hours/day) work week because of it, and plan to find a closer job sooner rather than later.

But you want to know the simultaneous best and worst part of my commute? I live only a couple miles from downtown -- a decision made explicitly in hopes of minimizing my commute -- but now commute out to an office in the exurbs! That's how fucked up the Atlanta metro area is now: the jobs followed the sprawl, so now instead of people driving to downtown, they drive through (or around) downtown and out to the suburb on the other side!

Jamesqf

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2013, 12:17:49 PM »
I once worked with a guy who commuted from Sacramento to Palo Alto -- 120 miles one way through Bay Area traffic.  He got an apartment near the office so he wouldn't have to do this every day...

Used to do that, from Northern Nevada to San Jose.  But at least it was an every other week deal - in the lab one week, telecommute the next.  And in fact I rather enjoyed half of the commute: went via 88, so I would leave home Sunday noonish, stop around Carson Pass for an afternoon hike, get back on the road about sunset, which would get me into the Bay Area late enough to miss the worst of the traffic.

What I realized that made me a bit happier about the commute was that most of it was probably folks who lived in the city coming back from their weekend escape to the Sierra.  So they were really doing as much or more driving as I was (since I biked from apartment to lab in SJ), it's just that they didn't call it commuting.

EngGirl

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2013, 01:33:17 PM »
I used to spend 5 hours a day commuting to and from university from my parent's home. Saved money, but boy did that ever suck.

Now I've moved to the city and spend 1.5 hours biking every day, or 2.5 hours on the bus when the weather drops below -15.

noob515

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2013, 10:02:15 AM »
it's not uncommon for people working in DC to live 2-3 hours away in VA. Infernal.

Yes, and even more live more than a mile from DC...

I'm a megacommuter who works in DC.  It's 60 miles and 2 hours each way.  But 50 miles of that is via the commuter train (and my employer pays for most of the cost of my train ticket).  It sucks, but living farther out means a cheaper house/rent, which means more savings, and FIRE sooner. 

Plus, if we moved closer, my husband would be stuck with the long commute, and in reverse of the train movement (commuter trains only go north in the morning and south in the evening), so he'd have to drive. 
 

zinnie

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2013, 10:27:27 AM »
I hired someone who lives 76 miles away from work. And she is non-exempt, so she can't ever work from home like some others do. She was by far the best candidate, but I'm still feeling a little guilty about it...

capital

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2013, 01:22:59 PM »
We currently live in Monroe county PA. I see that the cencus bureau awarded this a "top ten" on their list of megacommuter locations. I live exactly 100 miles from Wall St. Every morning thousands of commuters get up, (1/2 way through the night) and drive to the dozens of strategically located bus parking lots. Then, if the gods are smiling apon them, it's a 2-1/2 hour ride to Grand Central station. The balance of the trip is determined by exactly how far you are from the office when you jump off the bus. At the end of the day, if they are lucky, they stumble back in the front door, no earlier that 7PM. From 1986 to the start of the great recession this madness TRIPLED the size of this rural county. Since then it's been like somebody pulled the plug out of the tub. It's a slow moving train wreck. The housing market collapsed, a significant portion of the commuters lost their jobs, and the population dropped to the point that the schools have about 20% less kids.

We now live in a case study of what happens when our society collectively "jumps the shark"  Megacommuting was an unsustainable bad idea, twenty five years ago, when it started here. Back then, local taxes were stupid cheap, fuel was cheap, housing was 1/4 the price of the metro area, and this was a rural Mayberry like place to be. Now it's a mess, with a boom town mentality that prevented any logical growth control until it was too late, thousands of foreclosed and abandoned homes, and rapidly increasing poverty. It's so F'd up that some of the gated communities are now saturated with crime, and gangs.
Meanwhile, housing prices in Brooklyn, home of the $2.50 half-hour subway commute and increasingly the $0 half-hour bike commute, are getting insanely high, especially for townhouses, which are hard to find for less than $1M. Tons of people want to take mass transit from walkable neighborhoods here in NYC, but they haven't built much of either in 80 years or so, so the prices are getting bid up quite to the point of ridiculousness.

paddedhat

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2013, 07:13:14 AM »
We currently live in Monroe county PA. I see that the cencus bureau awarded this a "top ten" on their list of megacommuter locations. I live exactly 100 miles from Wall St. Every morning thousands of commuters get up, (1/2 way through the night) and drive to the dozens of strategically located bus parking lots. Then, if the gods are smiling apon them, it's a 2-1/2 hour ride to Grand Central station. The balance of the trip is determined by exactly how far you are from the office when you jump off the bus. At the end of the day, if they are lucky, they stumble back in the front door, no earlier that 7PM. From 1986 to the start of the great recession this madness TRIPLED the size of this rural county. Since then it's been like somebody pulled the plug out of the tub. It's a slow moving train wreck. The housing market collapsed, a significant portion of the commuters lost their jobs, and the population dropped to the point that the schools have about 20% less kids.

We now live in a case study of what happens when our society collectively "jumps the shark"  Megacommuting was an unsustainable bad idea, twenty five years ago, when it started here. Back then, local taxes were stupid cheap, fuel was cheap, housing was 1/4 the price of the metro area, and this was a rural Mayberry like place to be. Now it's a mess, with a boom town mentality that prevented any logical growth control until it was too late, thousands of foreclosed and abandoned homes, and rapidly increasing poverty. It's so F'd up that some of the gated communities are now saturated with crime, and gangs.
Meanwhile, housing prices in Brooklyn, home of the $2.50 half-hour subway commute and increasingly the $0 half-hour bike commute, are getting insanely high, especially for townhouses, which are hard to find for less than $1M. Tons of people want to take mass transit from walkable neighborhoods here in NYC, but they haven't built much of either in 80 years or so, so the prices are getting bid up quite to the point of ridiculousness.

          I just learned two more facts to add to the mess, reporting from out here on the edge of uber-commuting.
 
          First, our School district was just listed by the feds as being fully qualified for title 1 funding. This means that over 40% of the families with school age children are living in poverty. In contrast, pre-collapse, this was a solid middle class area with a majority of the households having two decent incomes.
         Second, there was a puff piece printed in the monthly community newsletter, written by the school board prez. He casually writes of continuing declines in enrollment. Roughly 150 students this year, ALL of which happened in the kindergarten enrollment.  That little factoid, is probably the most disturbing thing I have read lately. At the start of the collapse we had over 9000 students in the district, hundreds of teachers, and support staff, and hundreds of millions in new debt for all the fancy new buildings the state forced us to build. Now, with 325 kindergarten students, it's easy to see that we are heading for an enrollment of 3000, at best. The mortgage is still due, the staff can only be cut so low, and half of the faclities are being abandoned as thay are no longer required. Currently, our real estate taxes are at the 98th percentile, when ranked by county, nationwide. The vast majority of this money is used to fund a school system that was forced to grow at an explosive rate to accomodate the influx of new families.
       There were a few famous articles written, starting at the beginning of the collapse, by demographers who predicted that the outer ring suburbs were probably screwed. Their thinking was that the current generation of fertile adults will have zero interest in starting families in areas with no immediate access to public transit, shopping, community entertainment etc....  Well, they were right. If the number of young families starting their kids in our local area is declining by 25% per year, the future isn't looking too bright. It appears that the next generation may of learned from the past, and is quite possibly a lot more 'stashian that some give them credit for?
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 07:16:39 AM by paddedhat »

jnik

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2013, 08:31:36 AM »
It appears that the next generation may of learned from the past, and is quite possibly a lot more 'stashian that some give them credit for?
In general I find the millennials to be pretty sharp and savvy on several fronts, including realising at least some of the futility to consumerism-at-all-costs. (For instance, car ownership is down in their age group.) Offset somewhat by the hedonic adaptation of having grown up, on average, with quite a high standard of living.

It is interesting watching the boomers age, since I think some are having the attitude surrounding them during their childhood re-emerge, i.e. "we're never going to want for anything again." (FWIW, as a boomlet late Xer, I think Xers have been too defined by cynicism, which degrades into "I've got mine screw you" quickly.)

Zaga

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2013, 09:45:35 AM »
We are almost a part of that statistic.  DH is just under the mark.  We drive him 30 minutes to a bus pickup (which is close to my work), then he rides the bus another half hour downtown, then walks a mile.  It's an hour and 15 minutes minimum.  Gosh I hope he gets the job 1 mile from mine!  Then we'll just have the one 35 minute drive.  Still bad but not so insane!

Jamesqf

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2013, 12:57:43 PM »
       There were a few famous articles written, starting at the beginning of the collapse, by demographers who predicted that the outer ring suburbs were probably screwed. Their thinking was that the current generation of fertile adults will have zero interest in starting families in areas with no immediate access to public transit, shopping, community entertainment etc....  Well, they were right. If the number of young families starting their kids in our local area is declining by 25% per year, the future isn't looking too bright.

I have trouble understanding the logic here.  First, those "outer ring suburbs" are, pretty much by definition, upscale/expensive areas.  In the absence of the pre-2008 giveaway mortgages, how many young people interested in starting families are going to be able to afford such places?  Second, if they have kids elsewhere, then move to those suburbs later (as they become more prosperous) how is that a problem?  You just have to plan your schools for e.g. 300 kindergarteners and 600 high school seniors.

paddedhat

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2013, 04:28:41 PM »
Two issues to your logic here.

First, the "Exurbs" or extreme outlying suburbs of a major employment center, are typically where folks end up as they head further and further afield, in seach of affordable housing. Like a lot of recently developed rural areas, 2-3 hours away from a major city, nothing here is expensive or remotely upscale.  As I stated in an early post on this thread, at the start of this boom, housing was literally  2/3rd to 3/4s LESS than the areas adjoining NYC. Real estate taxes were a joke, often folks were paying less in a year than they would of per month in a similar home located 80 miles closer in. Currently affordablility for young families wanting to move to this area hardly a issue. There are large homes, in great condition and often on several acres, selling for < $50/sq.ft  The issue is a change in thinking. Kids graduate from here and never even check their mirror on the way out of town. Millennials, as a group, are not going to go down the same path their parents did, and the ones raised here, who watched their parents give their lives to a 14-15 hour work day because the chose to live two states away from there job, are saying hell no.
         The other issue is the "no big deal" response to imploding enrollment. When a state education department determines that you will go from your current enrollment to 150% of that figure in the next five years, you are required to plan for, and build to accomodate that influx. The scale of the pre 2008 influx was so great that a nearby district once had over four hundred NEW students show up on the first day of school with no prior warning. This doesn't include a larger number with parents that were intelligent enough to pre-register their newly enrolled spawn. Once the collapse occured, the region was stuck with billions of dollars in loans on school buildings that aren't even close to being fully occupied, as they abandon all the older buildings, and attempt to consolidate. When a rapidly declining population is attempting to fund a school system that was build for 3X as many students, it gets ugly. The buildings don't go away, the staff can only be reduced to a certain level,  the buses still travel thousands of miles a day, and the giant construction bonds still need to be paid.

  The larger point to all this is that, from the beginning of the recession, there were a handful of experts out there who said that mega-commuting would fall out of favor, and that many exurbs were going to fail to recover, and instead continue a long decline as the remainder of the county extricates itself from our current economic mess. Unfortunately it looks like it's happening here and now. Fortunately, as a 'stachian I have no debt, and bailing on this mess will be a matter of finding a buyer for my real estate holdings. Property is still moving, but the 'values" naturally have been adjusted to this new reality. That said, it's time to move on. I doubt that the next decade will be all that kind to this market.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 05:49:05 PM by paddedhat »

mobilisinmobili

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Re: 600,000 "megacommuters" in the U.S.
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2013, 04:24:22 PM »
I can walk to work in 1.25 hours, bike in 20 minutes, or metro in 30 minutes. Wooo.