Three articles about Super commuters / Extreme commuters
* Super/Extreme commuting is defined here as “traveling a minimum of 90 minutes to work and back”. The national average(2011) being 50 minutes.
(2004, lots of numbers )
People make these lengthy commutes for many reasons. A few want a rural lifestyle. Some are accommodating a spouse who works closer to home. Some even enjoy the trip. But most do it for a chance to buy into the American dream, says Alan Pisarski, a transportation consultant and author of Commuting in America.
New ways of working — telecommuting, a compacted workweek, low-cost airlines — are allowing people to pull back from traditional commuting patterns.
“People who don’t do it don’t understand it,” Foster says. “No matter where you live in (New York), it’s an hour commute. I’m just adding on 45 minutes or so. It’s worth it to me” to own a home.
These new super commuters have increased over 95% since 1990. About 3.5 million people in the United States are termed “extreme” or “super” commuters. That is one in six people who spend one month a year commuting.
Extreme commuting has high environmental costs, because it takes a lot of energy to move people long distances (and it’s worse since most of them are alone in their vehicles), but there are also high health and social costs. The stress adds up and can lead to health problems (“raised blood pressure, musculoskeletal disorders, increased hostility, lateness, absenteeism, and adverse effects on cognitive performance”), as well as family problems (especially for parents with young children).
There is no easy solution to eradicate this kind of long-distance commuting, but educating people about the real costs of it can probably help some people realize that it’s not worth it.