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Old 07-22-2013, 01:07 PM
 
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How Americans Get To Work, In 2 Graphs: More than ever, Americans are getting to work by driving alone.

How Americans Get To Work, In 2 Graphs : Planet Money : NPR


I've always found it interesting that the people I've come across who complained most about traffic were those who refuse to carpool and/or take mass transit.
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:41 PM
 
Location: California
30,509 posts, read 33,316,873 times
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It's never as easy as it sounds to carpool or use mass transit. The additional time, lack of flexibility, and other things make driving alone the ideal solution for most peoples lives. That it doesn't translate into "what's good for the earth and other things" is secondary.

Just off the top of my head: not going right home after work or going somewhere beforehand, carrying bulky items back and forth, needing to leave the primary work location and go to other locations during the day, having odd hours and split shifts and OT, and many many more.

Long ago, and for a couple years when I lived in the suburbs and worked in San Francisco, I did take BART. I also carpooled from one suburb to another with two friends for awhile because it just happened to be convenient for us since we lived within blocks of each other and did the same job in an office. We were all young and carefree and had few other responsibilities in life and, more importantly, 9-5 jobs with no flexibility whatsoever. It almost seems like the new job market is what's driving (excuse the pun) people to drive. 9-5 doesn't exist in most people's world.
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:42 PM
 
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Under normal conditions, it takes me 25-30 minutes to drive to work.

I just checked the Maryland MTA web site to see how they'd have me get to work by bus. Travel time - 1 hour, 45 minutes.

Nobody that I work with lives near enough to me to be able to carpool.

I'm driving.
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Old 07-22-2013, 02:00 PM
 
15,388 posts, read 13,402,172 times
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I took mass transit when I lived in the DC area, hated every other day of it. The DC metro is not even low cost. And you want to hear complaints? Come stand on a platform in the summer during rush hour when yet another metro rail train breaks down, a track breaks or something.

I walk to work living in Miami.

When in college, I drove, the bus was too expensive and it took almost three times as long to get there, not including the walk to and from the bus stop.
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Old 07-22-2013, 02:12 PM
 
5,321 posts, read 5,264,259 times
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There are tons of people who don't have to drive to work but do anyway. There are even more people who drive when needing to go just a couple miles or less.

I either take the bike to work, take the train, or run to work. I'm in Boston and understand it's easier for me being where I am. But still, I know so many people who can take a bike (and it would beneficial in many cases for people that live in a city and need to deal with traffic lights and parking) but don't think of it or when the idea is presented, they think it an idiotic notion and look at me in a crooked way.

My son goes to preschool about 1/3 of a mile from whe I live. I always walk to get him and we walk home. Whenever certain relatives come for a visit they always want to take the car to pick him up. It's super aggravating, the laziness and stupid car culture. I do own a car BTW so understand that it can be useful. But the "what me? Walk!? How prepostorous" mentality is really aggravating.
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Old 07-22-2013, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Clovis Strong, NM
3,376 posts, read 4,796,972 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-fused View Post
There are tons of people who don't have to drive to work but do anyway. There are even more people who drive when needing to go just a couple miles or less.

I either take the bike to work, take the train, or run to work. I'm in Boston and understand it's easier for me being where I am. But still, I know so many people who can take a bike (and it would beneficial in many cases for people that live in a city and need to deal with traffic lights and parking) but don't think of it or when the idea is presented, they think it an idiotic notion and look at me in a crooked way.

My son goes to preschool about 1/3 of a mile from whe I live. I always walk to get him and we walk home. Whenever certain relatives come for a visit they always want to take the car to pick him up. It's super aggravating, the laziness and stupid car culture. I do own a car BTW so understand that it can be useful. But the "what me? Walk!? How prepostorous" mentality is really aggravating.
My other thread withstanding, I do see the usefulness of a car in far-distance situations.
But this is pretty much the problem anywhere.
Too many people cling to their cars like a security blanket and must have it regardless of how far outside the house they're going.
I'd continue trampling this argument into the ground, but those of us that have learned to live without cars are still far and few between and will lose the argument each time.
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Old 07-22-2013, 02:43 PM
 
6,620 posts, read 4,561,756 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-fused View Post
There are tons of people who don't have to drive to work but do anyway. There are even more people who drive when needing to go just a couple miles or less.

I either take the bike to work, take the train, or run to work. I'm in Boston and understand it's easier for me being where I am. But still, I know so many people who can take a bike (and it would beneficial in many cases for people that live in a city and need to deal with traffic lights and parking) but don't think of it or when the idea is presented, they think it an idiotic notion and look at me in a crooked way.

My son goes to preschool about 1/3 of a mile from whe I live. I always walk to get him and we walk home. Whenever certain relatives come for a visit they always want to take the car to pick him up. It's super aggravating, the laziness and stupid car culture. I do own a car BTW so understand that it can be useful. But the "what me? Walk!? How prepostorous" mentality is really aggravating.
Sometimes it's not the distance, but the lack of sidewalks and safe crossings. I walk to a grocery store near me frequently. There's another one closer in the other direction, but that would require walking along a narrow shoulder with cars whizzing past and no margin of error. Don't assume that everyone is like your relatives who refuse to walk even when it's safe and easy. Some don't live in areas with that luxury.
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Old 07-22-2013, 05:12 PM
 
5,321 posts, read 5,264,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UNC4Me View Post
Sometimes it's not the distance, but the lack of sidewalks and safe crossings. I walk to a grocery store near me frequently. There's another one closer in the other direction, but that would require walking along a narrow shoulder with cars whizzing past and no margin of error. Don't assume that everyone is like your relatives who refuse to walk even when it's safe and easy. Some don't live in areas with that luxury.
I don't assume that, which is why I specifically said that I understand it's easier for me being where I am. And, I also said that I own a car myself and understand its usefulness, not only for going long distances but if the whole family needs to get somewhere (I don't expect my 5 yr old to ride his bike 10 miles to a birthday party) or to even go grocery shopping - I'm not a very hard core guy who packs groceries in a cargo trailer, although I respect those who do.

My point was just that there are many more opportunities that are easy and more fun than using a car than people are aware of or even would consider. And that is aggravating, the American car culture sucks for many reasons. I'm a competitive cyclist but one doesn't have to go to extremes to get much healthier and happier, a trip that is up to 5 miles by bike is doable in many instances - not all but many more than are taken. Then again, it's easier to eat a donut and take the car 2 blocks for more donuts.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,609,820 times
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Why are so many people still physically commuting to work anyway? The portion of the workforce employeed in information/communication jobs (typists on up to VPs) where face-to-face onsite interaction with customers or production facilities/equipment is not mandatory could just telecommute from home.

If they're home all day to receive deliveries, then they wouldn't need to be commuting for groceries, food, prescriptions etc on a regular basis... the primary vehicles on the road would be the delivery drivers & couriers servicing multiple households instead of multiple vehicles and trips for every household. For one-offs like meetings and doctor's appointments, taxis and other public transportation wouldn't be as inconvenient.

Not saying that this would work for every job, or even every location, but it would certainly work for a large number of jobs in urban/suburban locations.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:57 AM
 
6,620 posts, read 4,561,756 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingAll4Seasons View Post
Why are so many people still physically commuting to work anyway? The portion of the workforce employeed in information/communication jobs (typists on up to VPs) where face-to-face onsite interaction with customers or production facilities/equipment is not mandatory could just telecommute from home.

If they're home all day to receive deliveries, then they wouldn't need to be commuting for groceries, food, prescriptions etc on a regular basis... the primary vehicles on the road would be the delivery drivers & couriers servicing multiple households instead of multiple vehicles and trips for every household. For one-offs like meetings and doctor's appointments, taxis and other public transportation wouldn't be as inconvenient.

Not saying that this would work for every job, or even every location, but it would certainly work for a large number of jobs in urban/suburban locations.
I agree that one of the solutions to easing traffic and moderating miles driven is telecommuting. I work for an IT company and out of ~ 5,000 full time employees about 600 work remote, myself included. That's over 10%. In addition, there are MANY other people who work from home 1-3 days per week every week. When I started with the company 12+ years ago, no one worked remotely. My company now has training for managers to assist them in learning how to effectively manage remote employees. I only see the number of remote employees growing.
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