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Poll; How Long Is Your Commute to Work?

March 29, 2009 Bicycling, Public Transit, Sunday Poll 19 Comments

For nearly five years now I’ve worked from home.  My commute is as long as it takes me to walk from bed to my computer, 20 feet away.

Granted, I do have to stop by the real estate brokkerage on South Kingshighway as well as meet buyers at properties and planning clients at their offices.  But for the most part my daily commute is measured in seconds, not minutes or hours.

I’m the exception, not the rule.  Most of travel further than your bedside computer.  Take the poll on the upper right corner of the main page to share your commute time & mode.Use the comments below to share your thoughts on commuting.


Currently there are "19 comments" on this Article:

  1. Johnson Falls says:

    This article about bus cut-backs in St. Louis and their terrible effect on Stuart and Dianne Falk is disheartening.


  2. For a little over 3 years, I’ve had the privilege of working primarily from my home office. For two of those years, my trip involved a climb up one flight of stairs, but more recently it was reduced to 5 steps when my business moved its office into a sunlit southwest corner space. I’m very grateful to be able to work from home, and to have space in my house to do it!

    For more, visit http://www.buildingplace.net.

  3. Tom Shrout says:

    35 minutes by foot and MetroLink from the CWE to Downtown, a little longer than need be since I often choose to walk to MetroLink rather than take the bus for the sake of exercise.

  4. Tony Palazzolo says:

    I split my time between my home office and an office. I enjoy working from home, but I’m happy I don’t do all of it from home. I’m lucky that my profession is competely internet based – there is no difference than being at home or the office.

  5. JJSons says:

    ~20mins. 1/2 mile walk to Metro – 8min train ride – 2min walk to office

  6. mike says:

    My commute is about two miles, from home in Oakland to the campus of STLCC-Meramec. I’ve had this for the past two years, after three years of driving to Edwardsville, IL, and two years before that of driving to Herculaneum and Hillsboro three days a week to teach, and to Meramec on the other days. I feel very fortunate just now.

    My oddest commute was when I was first married, when I would drive from Holland to Germany every day–my wife and I were both in the Army and were stationed in different countries. Travel time was about an hour each way–

  7. steve sleet says:

    I see ‘commute to work’ and automatically feel compelled to offer that the term commute commonly represents home to work, but really should be expanded to include ‘trips to a destination’ or similar.

    On average, most miles are not put on a vehicle from one’s trip to work but rather all the other trips. A real eye opener is that 40% of those trips are less than 2 miles! Combine this with a population that has let go of exercise and is eating more calories resulting in expanding mid-drifts and the resulting health issues and a lightbulb should go off in one’s head. “Hey! I think I’ll walk or bike there!”

    1. You’re going there anyway
    2. You need exercise
    3. Walking & biking places are very TIME efficient ways to get exercise (driving there and then later to the gym? huh?)
    4. You’re reducing air/water/noise pollution, saving 55¢+ a mile, avoiding parking hassles, will have more energy, be smarter, and the list goes on.
    5. Really, does it make sense to fire up a 3563 lb vehicle that is only 20% efficient just to pick up a loaf of bread?
    6. Ahhhh. Being able to slooooooow down. It’s nice to escape the irrational ‘must rush everywhere at all costs’ culture we find ourselves in. Breathe. Relax. Enjoy.
    7. Surveys show that people want to live in places where there is significant walking and bicycle traffic. Amen.

    Two great sites to help ‘think outside the metal box’ and get out there:

  8. Mary Homan says:

    My work is 2 miles from my house. I usually drive (I know, I know) because 1. I spend way too much time ironing to squish a shirt in my timbuk2 courier bag and 2. I sweat way too much in winter layering–we don’t have showers or any real place to clean up and our bathrooms are gross so I hate changing in there. However, I have started walking to work (30 min there; 25 min home) but I still have to change at work and still sweat. Sorry to overshare but I will say it is a major inconvenience to not have a place to clean up.
    At SLU, we had a locker room with showers so I rode my bike to work more often and my boss was awesome and realized I could do statistical anlaysis from anywhere so I wasn’t there everyday–*sigh* I miss that!
    It’s a real bummer to drive and I realize I’m setting myself up for criticism but I’m sure I’m not the only person who struggles to find a balance between conserving energy/resources and being presentable at work.

  9. Equals42 says:

    I work from home unless I have to fly to a customer site which can be anywhere in the US or sometimes Europe. My wife and I own one car and put only 7,000 miles a year on it. Minus all the jet fuel not too bad. With the flights I really do a lot of “commuting” (~100,000 miles per year).

  10. Jimmy Z says:

    1976-1988: Denver, 50% biking, 25% public transit, 25% drive & park
    1988-2004: Denver, home-based business, 20′ shuffle-commute
    2004-2005: Kirkwood-O’Fallon, MO., 100% single-occupant-vehicle + free parking
    2005-2007: S. City – Olivette, 100% SOV + free parking
    2007-2008: S. City – Clayton, 98% SOV + free parking, 2% Metro

    Suprisingly, as an architect with a home-based business, I probably spent more time on the road, meeting with clients and contractors, than I spent in the previous ten years, when I worked downtown and most client contact was downtown, or in the 4½ years here, where I’ve spent most of my time “chained” to the computer at work. The only positive is that most of these trips occurred at off-peak times, so I wan’t making the commute worse for those 9-to-5’ers.

    And as a supporter of public transit, I’ve tried to use Metro whenever it works for me here. Unfortunately, it rarely does, since every employer I’ve had here has offered “free” employee parking – either it takes 3+ times as long and/or costs more than just driving myself and finding a meter. It makes even less sense when there’s more than one of us going. At a minimum of $4.50 per person round trip, parking at $9 or $10 still looks very attractive, given the timing issues.

  11. Allison says:

    Until today, my commute from downtown to midtown took about 12 minutes via the #93.

    Unfortunately, that was slashed in the Metro cuts, so today was my first “new” way — walk to Convention Center station, board the train, arrive at Grand, take the #70 north. All parts considered, from the time I left my apartment, it took me about 35 minutes to get to work. :/

  12. Kara says:

    My commute to work on public transit is easy. It takes about 50% longer than driving a car, but it’s worth it for the cost savings and relaxing experience.

    The issue is the other trips I take. Most other trips are in the evenings and I find too many parts of the city to be too unsafe for walking alone or standing on the corner alone waiting for the bus. Safety on the street and the ability to walk/bike/take transit go hand-in-hand and I find this lack of safety to be a bigger hindrance to going car-free than the lack of transit or bike lanes.

  13. Carmel says:

    I just moved here from a bike-friendly town, where I’d get almost everywhere I needed to go by bike. One summer, my husband and I put 2000 mi each on our bikes and about 50mi on the car.

    Now in STL, he commutes from So City to St Charles (Weldon Springs)–about 40 mins. Should be about 30 mins once the hwy is open again. We’d do anything for a shorter commute for him but it’s not that possible. Our options were: St Charles County Suburbia (still a 20+ min commute) or Kirkwood/Webster (knocks off about 5 mins on the commute).

    In the end we decided to live in the city and commute to the ‘burbs and try to focus on getting around the city as much as possible without a car. Still working on this…STL doesn’t exactly make it easy. But I can walk to the grocery store, dentist, park, etc. which I’m hoping absolves us from Commute Sin. 🙂

  14. Scooterjo says:

    BEFORE the recent Metro service cuts it took me 90 minutes to get TO work in West County and two hours or more to get home. The route they created to serve Chesterfield Valley does not help me in the least. I will still have to take a cab part of the way on those days I cannot ride my scooter on account of weather.

    St Louis and the state of Missouri does not serve themselves well by not having adequate public transit. It makes the region look small minded.

  15. MP says:

    I live in Clifton Heights and used to work near Forest Park Community College.. I drove and it took 10 minutes.

    For the last 5 years I’ve had to drive to Maryland Heights. It’s a 16 mile commute. It takes me 25 minutes in the morning now (7am) due to the Highway 40 deal. (before the highway shut down 15 minutes).

    Commute home used to be 35 minutes before the high way shut down, now it takes anywhere between 45 minutes and an hour to get home.

  16. Dennis says:

    Two minutes on foot, then if the bus is on time eleven minutes on the bus, then 6 or 7 minutes on the metrolink, then another 6 minutes on foot. That totals 25 minutes I’m moving. It usually takes about 30 minutes to get in the door at work. So the extra 5 minutes is time spent waiting for the bus and waiting for the train to pull out. But that all changed yesterday when Metro screwed up the bus times! I may have to go back to driving a car.

  17. Abe Nonymous says:

    18 minutes by car at an average speed of 29mph, or 4+ hours each way by Metro bus+MetroLink since the recent route deletions, including 8 miles of walking (each way).

  18. matt says:

    45 Minutes each way…

    Tower Grove South to Creve Coeur.


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