Author Topic: Toll Road Commute  (Read 2227 times)

YoungGranny

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Toll Road Commute
« on: April 03, 2019, 08:20:09 AM »
I was chatting with a co-worker about commuting into the office. I have a 10-minute walk in which is pretty nice. He commutes about 10 miles which takes 30-minutes in good traffic and 60+minutes in bad traffic. Then he was talking about how it's totally worth it to save 10 minutes to take the toll road which costs $5 each way....$10 a day; ~240 working days each year....$2,400 just in tolls! Let alone all the other expenses of commuting via car, man o man I wish public transportation was better here.

Also, this is probably not surprising for a lot of you but I grew up in an area without toll roads so to me they're only used on road-trips very sparingly. So it's crazy to me that they are a few thousand dollars in expenses to many families.

Sibley

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Re: Toll Road Commute
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2019, 08:48:25 AM »
It really depends on where you are. Sometimes, you really don't have a choice in taking the toll road. I just drove 100 miles on a toll road for a one day conference I attended - 50 miles each way, and the only possible routes were each some combination of toll road. If I had to make that drive regularly, I'd consider moving.

LifeHappens

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Re: Toll Road Commute
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2019, 08:49:27 AM »
The city you currently live in chose to expand road capacity by building toll roads, rather than investing in usable public transport. It's lousy urban planning and your coworker is paying the price, unfortunately. That being said, your coworker could definitely make better housing choices.

YoungGranny

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Re: Toll Road Commute
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2019, 08:59:26 AM »
@Sibley - I totally agree there's times when it makes sense. Living in an area with a lot of toll roads we do hop on them here and there when it's a big time or mileage saver. Still, I'd have a hard time tossing $10 out the window every day.

@LifeHappens  - yep I know! More construction right now because when traffic is bad the only answer is MORE LANES! It's definitely a car-culture city which a lot of people pay the price for unfortunately. 

penguintroopers

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Re: Toll Road Commute
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2019, 08:48:42 AM »
The city you currently live in chose to expand road capacity by building toll roads, rather than investing in usable public transport. It's lousy urban planning and your coworker is paying the price, unfortunately. That being said, your coworker could definitely make better housing choices.

Sometimes the housing choice is made for the benefit of the other spouse.

I'll use us as an example. My husband gets to enjoy that 10 minute walk OP has, but I have a 32 mile commute involving a tollway. Tolls are $4.50 or $5.20 per day (sometime I use a different route with highway + tollway on my way home because there's no traffic at that time).

Housing options would be:
1. Live by my office... which would eliminate my commute, but then put my husband in the same boat with the opposite direction of the problem.
2. Live somewhere in between... which would then necessitate two cars being driven all the time, rather than....
3. our current arrangement of ~20k miles/year on one car and ~1k miles on the other. (which is less that two of us driving the american average of 13.5k miles/ea)

So yeah, for our current stage in life, we can spend ~$5/day to save me 20-30 minutes of my commute. (And I maximized out how to get the most time savings per $, in true MMM style).

index

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Re: Toll Road Commute
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2019, 09:40:34 AM »
Good schools are another consideration. In our case we can live downtown close to work and pay for private school or live 15 miles away with $8 in tolls per day and utilize public school. The latter is cheaper.

PDXTabs

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Re: Toll Road Commute
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2019, 09:49:05 AM »
worth it to save 10 minutes to take the toll road which costs $5 each way.

So 20 minutes for $10? It's probably less wear and tear on the car too. If you make $80/hr, that might be a good deal.

EDITed to add - I like toll roads and public transit. I want driving in your personal automobile to be expensive.

jps

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Re: Toll Road Commute
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2019, 09:54:39 AM »
I don't think I've ever been on a toll-road (Inland NW). That being said, it sounds pretty rough to pay $10/day just for the permission of driving your car to work, on top of all other transportation costs.

The_Big_H

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Re: Toll Road Commute
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2019, 11:13:36 PM »
I don't think I've ever been on a toll-road (Inland NW). That being said, it sounds pretty rough to pay $10/day just for the permission of driving your car to work, on top of all other transportation costs.


A publicly stated desire for $5 gas tends to not make oneself popular.

talltexan

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Re: Toll Road Commute
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2019, 07:58:38 AM »
Tolls aren't the only thing that makes commuting expensive. Those miles cost you $0.30 to $0.75 even before you pay for the toll.

What the toll can do is save you time. Buying time with money can make sense.

ketchup

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Re: Toll Road Commute
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2019, 08:29:20 AM »
I have tolls on the way to and from work on my clown commute, but less than $10/day, and it also saves me more than 10 minutes each way. 

I understand why one would pay tolls to save time, but the cost/benefits ratio would not pencil out if I was in your coworkers's shoes.

Uturn

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Re: Toll Road Commute
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2019, 08:44:42 AM »
I would have no problem with the tolls if they were used to actually pay for the road and not be a long term for-profit.   Let's look at DFW TX as an example.  The first toll in the area was I30, it was built to alleviate congestion and when the tolls had paid for the road, the toll booths came down.  Then came the N. Dallas Tollway.  Although the tolls were never intended to go away on the highway, it was still designed to alleviate congestion.  Now go look at I820 through the Mid Cities.  Holy crap, there is no way even a fool could think that highway was designed to relieve congestion.  It was designed to drive revenue.  During rush hour, unless you want to pay approximately $1/mile, your commute is going to be longer than it was before the highway was widened.  2 lanes if you want to East/West traverse one of the fastest growing areas in the whole damn state?  Now they are doing it again for I35 in Fort Worth.  Designing highways to ease the life of people with extra money. 

dcheesi

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Re: Toll Road Commute
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2019, 08:49:41 AM »
I would have no problem with the tolls if they were used to actually pay for the road and not be a long term for-profit.   Let's look at DFW TX as an example.  The first toll in the area was I30, it was built to alleviate congestion and when the tolls had paid for the road, the toll booths came down.  Then came the N. Dallas Tollway.  Although the tolls were never intended to go away on the highway, it was still designed to alleviate congestion.  Now go look at I820 through the Mid Cities.  Holy crap, there is no way even a fool could think that highway was designed to relieve congestion.  It was designed to drive revenue.  During rush hour, unless you want to pay approximately $1/mile, your commute is going to be longer than it was before the highway was widened.  2 lanes if you want to East/West traverse one of the fastest growing areas in the whole damn state?  Now they are doing it again for I35 in Fort Worth.  Designing highways to ease the life of people with extra money.
They're doing the same thing in the DC area, with toll "express lanes" on the Beltway and connecting freeways. Right now the MD governor is pushing to widen the MD part of the Beltway, taking homes and businesses for new lanes that will be exclusively toll-based in perpetuity.

Goldielocks

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Re: Toll Road Commute
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2019, 04:45:01 PM »
I have tolls on the way to and from work on my clown commute, but less than $10/day, and it also saves me more than 10 minutes each way. 

I understand why one would pay tolls to save time, but the cost/benefits ratio would not pencil out if I was in your coworkers's shoes.
Okay,  look at it this way..
$220/mo for tolls or $30/hr. after tax (maybe that's $50/hr of earned gross income?) 
5 years of this saved, at $220/mo  and allowed to grow at 7% for another 10 years = $31,653.  It's quite a bit

So, what are you doing with your extra time?   (examples)
- not going to therapy because commuting stop/go stresses you out, and you used to need stress therapy before the toll roads were chosen or
- not hiring a cleaning person (100 minutes / week is a serious cleaning dent) or
- you have kids and are time strapped to get anything done including picking them up at daycare.  10 minutes = $100's of late fees saved.
etc.

There are valid reasons for paying $220/mo for toll roads to save 20 minutes / day....  but they don't apply to a lot of people.

talltexan

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Re: Toll Road Commute
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2019, 08:38:03 AM »
I'm hoping I'd be able to use the existence of the toll as leverage to negotiate a partial remote-work-arrangement with my employer.

Enigma

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Re: Toll Road Commute
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2019, 12:52:54 PM »
When I was in Washington DC a couple of years ago, the 'EZ-pass' lanes could easily be over $20.  Usually I saw them around 12-$18.  I thought they were 'worth it' at $1 or when it stated free but that was about it.

penguintroopers

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Re: Toll Road Commute
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2019, 12:29:14 AM »
When I was in Washington DC a couple of years ago, the 'EZ-pass' lanes could easily be over $20.  Usually I saw them around 12-$18.  I thought they were 'worth it' at $1 or when it stated free but that was about it.

*cringes* And to think I get sad when Route 1 is $3 because its a weekend/holiday rather than the regular $1...

dcheesi

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Re: Toll Road Commute
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2019, 07:38:27 AM »
When I was in Washington DC a couple of years ago, the 'EZ-pass' lanes could easily be over $20.  Usually I saw them around 12-$18.  I thought they were 'worth it' at $1 or when it stated free but that was about it.
I think the tolls topped $40 the other day! Though to be fair, I-66 inside the Beltway is by far the worst offender; that road has been beyond capacity for years, and the tolls are just their latest scheme to deal with it. Previously the entire road (a freakin' interstate highway!) was HOV-only inside the Beltway.

Enigma

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Re: Toll Road Commute
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2019, 08:06:10 AM »
The biggest advantage to the EZPass lane, in my opinion, was the lane was posted 10MPH higher than the highway next to it (example 70MPH instead of 60MPH).  Well I need to work on it but I have a lead foot.  You would always see people pulled over on the highway and know they were paying over $200+ for their speeding ticket, getting pts on their licenses, and arriving to work late.