In Los Angeles, commute times of an hour or more are actually not that uncommon. It’s sad but traffic really does lengthen your commute by a lot. Most people who live farther away try to work extremely early and leave work late. It makes for a pretty long work day. For those of us who don’t live far away from our work place, we definitely have it much easier! The shortest commute I know of was an old co-worker who lived in the apartments above her work! All she had to do was walk down a flight of stairs. Even if she overslept, it wouldn’t have been a big deal! If she forgot her lunch, it was easy enough to go get it. Or, she could just go home for the lunch hour too.
My commute to my new job is the shortest I have ever had! By driving, I can be there in 5 minutes! It’s so close! I’m intending to bike there instead to save more money. It only takes me a little bit longer and it’s much healthier for me since I spend 8 hours sitting in front of a computer all day anyway. Plus, I don’t love parallel parking, so I won’t have to do it! I’m going to work out my legs and my arms and get some sunshine. I just need to be careful because I’m biking on the street. Bicyclists and cars are supposed to share the road, but it really doesn’t work out that way.
I’m always looking for ways to get to work without having to drive. I don’t particular love being stuck in traffic and always filling up my gas tank. I’ve taken the bus before, walked, and now I’m biking! When I first started working, I would walk home instead of taking the bus to save money. The walk took 45 minutes and I saved 75 cents each time. Small change, but every penny counted when you just start working!
Change the way you use your commute
Even if you have to drive your car to work, you can make the most out of it. Audiotapes are awesome for “reading” that book you don’t have time for. You can learn a new language too. If you can take a bus, then you can watch movies or TV shows while waiting to get to your stop. Biking and walking will give you a lot more exercise and keep you healthier. If you want to do a mix of driving and taking a bus, you can switch it up and do different things.
Saving money on gas and on car maintenance
Obviously the biggest benefit to a short commute is saving a lot of money! If you can take public transportation, bike, or walk to work, then you can save even more money. Gas is one of the most expensive things to pay for. Maintaining your car is obviously harder if you drive more often. You’ll end up replacing worn out parts much sooner.
See the world differently
Taking public transportation is a lot more interesting than driving. You’re pretty much going to meet a lot of people you normally wouldn’t see, and you don’t have 2 tons of steel between you and everyone else. It makes for very good people watching if that’s your kind of thing. Biking will give you a much better appreciation of your car. It takes longer to get around and you have to work for it! If you’re lucky enough to be able to walk to work, then you’ll notice your surroundings a lot more than passing by quickly in a car. You might discover a cute little shop that you would have never seen otherwise.
How long is your commute to work? Do you have an alternative form of transportation you take or can take?