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Here’s How Much Time You’ll Waste Commuting in Your Lifetime, by City

If you're thinking of relocating, maybe you should check out the average commute times for people for who in or around the city you're considering. Just zoom in on the interactive map at Educated Driver and click on the city's dot for more details. People near where I live commute around 40-45 minutes a day, which seems like a big waste of time over a lifetime. However, the average commute time in L.A. or San Francisco is an hour, and 75 minutes in New York City! Now think of this map as a whole, and consider all the lost hours, the gasoline, the pollution, the traffic jams, and the stress that could be avoided if we could just live closer to our workplaces.  -via Digg


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Interesting! Reading a bit about it, the Marchetti's constant doesn't seem to be culturally-sensitive. So maybe commuting time tolerance is something innate rather than something shaped by societal norms?
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When I was in radio, town to town, up and down the dial, I tried to find housing within walking distance of work, because I always had old and unreliable cars. Even in my last radio job, which was after I bought my first house, I was delighted that it was within walking distance. Then only a few months into the job, the station moved out to the suburbs. Sigh.

Now my commute is about five seconds from the bed to the office desk, although I usually detour to the kitchen for coffee.
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The colors and dots make it look like there is a vast difference, but the number scale only shows a factor of about two between the smallest and largest dots. There is a concept known as Marchetti's constant, where commuting times tend to trend toward the same average values under a wide variety of conditions. E.g. if you make improve roads and mass transit to make commutes faster, people will tend to spread out and live further away. This makes it not too surprising that you can find small towns that have long average commutes comparable to some larger towns. This also complicates urban planning, because it can seem like improvements don't change anything and that there is a natural commute time people will put up with anyway.
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True. Train ride to work is more popular on the East Coast (like commuting to NYC or DC) than on the West Coast, where the urban centers are more spread out (also, no comprehensive subway systems in population centers in the West). Bus travel is definitely how many people commute as well, though taking the bus is usually twice to three times as long as traveling with a car.
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