Author Topic: Wife started new job, figuring out commute  (Read 1981 times)

NoStacheOhio

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Wife started new job, figuring out commute
« on: September 28, 2016, 06:55:43 AM »
So my wife started a new job today (hurrah!), AND she's only like 10 blocks away from where I work (hurrah!). Our commute sucks (boo). And her employer has a one-year waitlist for $100/month parking (boo). Right now, we're probably going to carpool about 30-50% of the time (best guess), and she's going to have to find a pay lot otherwise (we're members at the art museum with discounted parking, and there's a $2 supposedly close).

Sadly, because of the nature of my job, we can't carpool 100% and we can't cut down to one car. I have variable start times and locations, depending on what's going on any given day, but about 90% of the time, I'm at my primary site downtown, and ~60-70% of the time I start at a time that works.

We're thinking about switching day cares to cut some time off the front end, but that isn't my real question.

Because we live in Cleveland, the roads were designed with absolutely no thought as to how people will get around. I spent about an 1h15m in the car this morning, which is almost double my normal time.

The biggest problem is "you can't get there from here" and trying to make left turns in heavy traffic with no arrows at the lights. If you know Cleveland, she's at University Circle and I'm at the big hospital to the west, so it's the whole Cedar/MLK/Euclid complex. Dropping her off and backtracking to my garage adds 15-30 minutes, depending on traffic. We're both hourly, so commute time directly cuts into our working hours. I can bring work home on occasion, but I'd like to keep that to a minimum. I carry the benefits, and it requires 72 hours per two-week pay period.

There is a bus/streetcar kind of thing that runs from my campus to hers, but fares are $2.50 one way and a monthly pass is $95, which would end up being more expensive. Also, we're slightly concerned about safety on public transit. I'm reasonably confident she'd be fine during rush hours, but she's petite and we both worry about it. That's also why walking is a no-go. We've had six or seven assaults/robberies just off campus this year.

I'm not sure if $2.50 for a very short bus ride negates the carpool savings.

What am I not seeing here?

Able was I ERE

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Re: Wife started new job, figuring out commute
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2016, 07:15:28 AM »
Depending on your hourly rate (after taxes), paying $2.50 to save 15-30 minutes sounds like a good deal compared to dropping your wife off. 

Would it be possible to bike from your work to hers?  You could bring the bike and wife to your work and then she continues onwards with the bike.

Or could you bike or run back from your wife's workplace?  You could count that as exercise instead of commuting time to avoid the cost of not working that time at your hourly job.

Should your wife just drive in every day?  To help comparing, just calculate against the marginal costs for your wife to drive to work each day (gas, parking, increased depreciation, maintenance).

That's all from a financial perspective.  You should also consider the other benefits.  For example, how much would you enjoy (or not) sharing the car ride to work with each other? 

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Wife started new job, figuring out commute
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2016, 09:01:05 AM »
Depending on your hourly rate (after taxes), paying $2.50 to save 15-30 minutes sounds like a good deal compared to dropping your wife off. 

Would it be possible to bike from your work to hers?  You could bring the bike and wife to your work and then she continues onwards with the bike.

Or could you bike or run back from your wife's workplace?  You could count that as exercise instead of commuting time to avoid the cost of not working that time at your hourly job.

Should your wife just drive in every day?  To help comparing, just calculate against the marginal costs for your wife to drive to work each day (gas, parking, increased depreciation, maintenance).

That's all from a financial perspective.  You should also consider the other benefits.  For example, how much would you enjoy (or not) sharing the car ride to work with each other?

We're both around $23/hr. I don't think there's really any question that driving two cars downtown about the same time of day to park them ~10 blocks apart is stupid. Obviously, on days where I'm somewhere else, or have a 6 a.m. call time, she'll just drive separately.

Biking would be fine in theory, but we need a car seat (bike doesn't fit without putting seats down), and the bike rack renders the hatch unusable--so we definitely need to go out an finance a new Yukon XL, right? ;-)

We did Wednesday last week with me driving to her office morning and afternoon (my initial post).

Thursday and Friday we parked in my normal garage, and she took the bus to her office, which allows both of us to start our days earlier (and end earlier). We're leaning toward that, because in the afternoon, she can wait in my lobby if I'm not ready to go right when she gets there. I also found a slightly better way to get to her office that avoids left turns for days that's necessary.

There's also some major construction that's wrapping up soon, which should hopefully speed up the overall drive time.

It's still a long day, but so far it seems like the best trade off for our situation. We're able to get to day care around 5 p.m., and get home to have dinner and some family time.

We also started doing more advance meal prep. Last night we made four dinners for the week, so all we need to do now is throw together a side dish and heat up the main course.

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Re: Wife started new job, figuring out commute
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2016, 10:58:36 AM »
Definitely go for the Yukon XL! ;). Barring that purchase, sounds like you have a workable solution with bussing and or car sharing.

Ideas for fitting the bike, in case you want to try sometime: do you have split seats so you can put one down and leave one up for the carseat? Do you actually need to access the hatch area or is it just "convenience"? Roof rack (get cheap on Craigslist)?  Can you store the bike at your office? In your office?  Folding bike (usually expensive )?  Smaller bike that fits in trunk?  Unicycle? Scooter? Roller blades?  Rendezvous with a coworker whose commute overlaps?

With This Herring

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Re: Wife started new job, figuring out commute
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2016, 12:09:24 PM »
If you two work 10 blocks apart, can you move closer to these 10 blocks and kill most of the commute?  I'm not sure how feasible this is, and I don't know Ohio.

If you two are worried about her being alone on the bus, what about, on days that you carpool, you two go to her office and park in the art lot/supposed $2 parking, and then you are the one to take a bus to your office?  I'm not sure if that would help or not.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Wife started new job, figuring out commute
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2016, 12:36:39 PM »
Definitely go for the Yukon XL! ;). Barring that purchase, sounds like you have a workable solution with bussing and or car sharing.

Ideas for fitting the bike, in case you want to try sometime: do you have split seats so you can put one down and leave one up for the carseat? Do you actually need to access the hatch area or is it just "convenience"? Roof rack (get cheap on Craigslist)?  Can you store the bike at your office? In your office?  Folding bike (usually expensive )?  Smaller bike that fits in trunk?  Unicycle? Scooter? Roller blades?  Rendezvous with a coworker whose commute overlaps?

It just seems like the challenges of last-mile biking outweigh the simplicity of the bus (especially in winter). I think we'd end up spending so much time and effort getting the bike off the car, changing clothes, etc. that we would take a bigger hit on billable time than spending the $5/day for the bus.

I sort of forgot I have a roof rack. I took the bars off right after I bought the car and they're sitting in the garage.

If you two work 10 blocks apart, can you move closer to these 10 blocks and kill most of the commute?  I'm not sure how feasible this is, and I don't know Ohio.

If you two are worried about her being alone on the bus, what about, on days that you carpool, you two go to her office and park in the art lot/supposed $2 parking, and then you are the one to take a bus to your office?  I'm not sure if that would help or not.

We're priced out of the desirable neighborhoods closer to downtown, and even if we could afford it, it's overpriced, and we STILL wouldn't be able to cut down to one car because of my stupid schedule.