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Old 09-29-2014, 11:27 AM
 
1,511 posts, read 1,556,456 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eccotecc View Post
Dude,

It's not about the money you earn, but the quality of life your dollars can purchase.

How much is your time worth?

Think about how much better an urban dweller's life would be if they had more time. If they had more time, would they live a healthier lifestyle? How much is a person's health worth? Would an urban dwellers stress level be lower if they weren't victims of time robbers? Would an urban working person feel less guilt because they would have time to prepare a proper wholesome meal for their family instead of dragging home a sack of fast food? These are just a few of the issues people don't take into consideration when choosing to work or live in an urban environment.
I'm not sure I understand why you feel these things are part and parcel of living in an urban environment.

I live and work right in the city and this allows both my wife and I to commute to work by means of a modest walk, which is both healthy and a time-saver.

I also serve us a healthy meal made from scratch almost every night, in part because I have the time due to not having a long commute

These sort of quality-of-life perks are exactly why I live in an urban environment.
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Old 09-29-2014, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,769,822 times
Reputation: 1616
Quote:
Originally Posted by freemkt View Post
I've got one better than that...this was a gig I found on Craigslist; could have lasted months or years if I had wanted...

Start at 136 & Foster in SE Portland. End three blocks off TV Hwy in Hillsboro.

Took just about two hours each way by bus; that's four hours round-trip travel.

One week of that was enough for me.

At least in NYC Metro you can get pretty much anywhere by transit. Subway got me from anywhere in NYC to Washington Heights (Port Authority bus terminal, Take the A Train) and then a short speedy bus ride dropped me off in Ridgewood six blocks from my aunt and uncle. Train works for that as well.
Yeah well most cities start to look more like a series of partially overlapping job markets rather than a single job market once they reach a certain size. I think you often get some fragmentation of cities as a result, so you might have one quadrant of the city that's more white collar jobs, and one that's more blue collar. Or the downtown will have most of the jobs from certain sectors (ex finance).

Anyways, if we're talking small cities of say 30,000 to 150,000 then yeah, I think there's a place for those. A lot of the time they'll have businesses that take advantage of lower land costs, or being able to pay lower wages (because of lower COL). If you don't have the qualifications for the higher paying jobs, and don't expect that to change any time soon, or if you're retired, it would make sense to live in a smaller city like that.
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Old 09-29-2014, 01:18 PM
 
119 posts, read 154,410 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
I have kept track of how much time I spent waiting in lines or traffic, it's very little time at all. 17 minutes door to door for my public transit commute, drives to big box stores like Target, Menard's, Home Depot, Binny's and Costco are 5-10 minutes, and I can hit 3 of them in one hour long round trip (including waiting).

It's great you found a job in a place with no traffic, but if there's no traffic that's also a good sign that there aren't many jobs. There are about 600,000 jobs within a 30 minute transit commute for me - how many jobs are there in the rural town you've moved to.

Anyways, I find it very hard to believe you spend 1.5 hours on a bus to go 5 miles, I've never seen public transit anywhere move that slowly. Why in the world wouldn't you just walk or ride a bike?
If you had to go with an all-bus commute from Logan Square it would probably take more than an hour to get to a downtown job. Right now I'm about 6 blocks from both the Logan Square and California Blue Line stops commuting to the east part of the loop and my typical door to door travel time is 45-60 min. If I were just taking the bus I would add at least 15 min to that.

The OP is probably a bit of a hike from the starting and ending bus stop and has at least one transfer along the way.
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Old 09-29-2014, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Liminal Space
1,018 posts, read 1,238,633 times
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I'm not sure why the OP considers this cost to be "hidden" when the trade-offs between commute time, job/income, and quality of life are the primary considerations of most people when they choose a location. Yes, you can get around really quickly in the middle of nowhere, but if you can't get a job there and/or can't access shopping, entertainment or other things you like to do quickly, that doesn't matter very much. Conversely the middle of Manhattan might be walkable to everything but most of us will never attain the income necessary to live there.

The OP had a 1.5 hour, 5-mile transit commute - that is extremely bad. Even in the San Jose area, with a minimal transit system, I would only need to travel for 1 hour on transit for my 5-mile commute (the actual distance covered would be 8 or 9 miles, because I would have to backtrack to downtown and then back out again). Of course I never do this, I ride a bike in 30 minutes instead. It sounds like you had a pretty horrible commute situation but one that would be extremely rare even in cities with the worst transit systems. Cities with poor transit generally also have low traffic and plentiful parking, so most people would drive. Biking and walking are also options.
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Old 09-29-2014, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Liminal Space
1,018 posts, read 1,238,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielWaterhouse View Post
If you had to go with an all-bus commute from Logan Square it would probably take more than an hour to get to a downtown job. Right now I'm about 6 blocks from both the Logan Square and California Blue Line stops commuting to the east part of the loop and my typical door to door travel time is 45-60 min. If I were just taking the bus I would add at least 15 min to that.

The OP is probably a bit of a hike from the starting and ending bus stop and has at least one transfer along the way.
It is theoretically possible but what percentage of public transit commuters are actually taking 1.5 hours to go 5 miles? Considering that that is slower than the walking speed of a healthy adult, I would put forth the hypothesis that of the few people with home/job locations that make such a long commute theoretically possible, 99.99% would find an alternative to transit.
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Old 09-29-2014, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,595,082 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentobox34 View Post
I'm not sure why the OP considers this cost to be "hidden" when the trade-offs between commute time, job/income, and quality of life are the primary considerations of most people when they choose a location. Yes, you can get around really quickly in the middle of nowhere, but if you can't get a job there and/or can't access shopping, entertainment or other things you like to do quickly, that doesn't matter very much. Conversely the middle of Manhattan might be walkable to everything but most of us will never attain the income necessary to live there.

The OP had a 1.5 hour, 5-mile transit commute - that is extremely bad. Even in the San Jose area, with a minimal transit system, I would only need to travel for 1 hour on transit for my 5-mile commute (the actual distance covered would be 8 or 9 miles, because I would have to backtrack to downtown and then back out again). Of course I never do this, I ride a bike in 30 minutes instead. It sounds like you had a pretty horrible commute situation but one that would be extremely rare even in cities with the worst transit systems. Cities with poor transit generally also have low traffic and plentiful parking, so most people would drive. Biking and walking are also options.
I thought this was odd as well, I know most people consider commute time when looking at locations to live. Heck, I am sure you could find a number of threads on this site wondering where a good location would be to live in their budget if they want to live within 45 minutes from where they will be working.

Personally I am questioning the OP's commute time numbers, especially seeing we have no idea the actual route the OP was taking or whether or not the OP was commuting by car or transit.
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Old 09-29-2014, 01:59 PM
 
6,462 posts, read 6,499,936 times
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People in rural settings waste time getting the services they need and buying goods.

Run out of milk? It might be an hour round trip to the grocery store.

Buying a new vehicle? It might be two hours round trip to the dealership.

That school bus ride could last an hour or two.

Is your car broken down? You better have some good friends or family to haul you around. No taxis or buses in the country.
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Old 09-29-2014, 02:23 PM
 
119 posts, read 154,410 times
Reputation: 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by bentobox34 View Post
It is theoretically possible but what percentage of public transit commuters are actually taking 1.5 hours to go 5 miles? Considering that that is slower than the walking speed of a healthy adult, I would put forth the hypothesis that of the few people with home/job locations that make such a long commute theoretically possible, 99.99% would find an alternative to transit.
More than you'd expect, especially at lower income levels. If somebody really can't afford a car or parking, they probably can't be picky about work location and may have to deal with multi-seat commutes.
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Old 09-29-2014, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
14,698 posts, read 8,530,235 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eccotecc View Post
The city was Pittsburgh. I now live in one of the gateway communities to Yosemite National Park.

I have spent travel time in Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and a few others. There are major wait times in all of them.
I agree. I want to move to Alaska full time, but circumstances won't permit me ATM. One of the major reasons is the horrendous Houston traffic. Not only is there gridlock traffic much of the time, but people drive so aggressively that I have to be on my toes constantly to avoid collisions. Our public transit system is woefully inadequate for a city this size. But Anchorage is much smaller than Houston, so I can get from one end of the town to another in only 15 minutes, even at 5:00 PM. I understand what OP means about losing time. Losing time is literally losing some of your life, a little at a time. But how much is enjoyment of the city you live in worth? If you really enjoy the city you live in and love it, perhaps the time you spend commuting, waiting in line, etc, is worthwhile. Each person should consider this factor when deciding where he/she wants to live in the long-term. It is quite important, and I don't think people consider this often.
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Old 09-29-2014, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Liminal Space
1,018 posts, read 1,238,633 times
Reputation: 1294
Quote:
Originally Posted by eccotecc View Post
When I lived in the city, I lived 5 miles from work and it took me 1 1/2 hours by bus. I had to take a bus because there wasn't anywhere to park. That was 1 1/2 hours each way, or 3 hours a day.
Knowing nothing about Pittsburgh, a quick Google map search turned up 20 parking garages within downtown shown in this google map view.

I picked one at random to check the monthly rate (Allco garage) which was $175/month.

Pittsburgh transit is $97.50 for a monthly pass. Therefore assuming $32/month for gas (200 miles/25 mpg * $4/gallon), it would've cost you an extra $109.50/month, or $5.47 per workday to drive and park. That $5.47 would've saved you at least 2 hours of commuting per day.

Sometimes you don't need to move to the middle of nowhere to save time - a tiny amount of research combined with some common sense will do the trick.
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