Imagine if your manager came into your cubicle and said “Bob” (you have to fill in your own name here), “I’d like to give you an extra 9.82 weeks holiday this year.” After you’d leapt to your feet, spilling your coffee on your new shirt and tearing the knee of your pants on your desk and doing your own personal happy dance, you’d stop, cock your head, look suspiciously and wonder what the catch was. 

There is always a catch, of course. That catch is the commute. North Americans spend an average of 26 minutes each way in their commute to and from work. My own commute to downtown Vancouver for 14 years was closer to 50 minutes each way. That works out to 9.82 weeks of wasted time per year. Funny, I used to think I was lucky – some people in my office were commuting and hour and a half each way. When someone in our office did the calculations and told me how many weeks per year each of us was spending on a bus I became very depressed. And then I had to take the bus home! 

The conventional thinking blames increased commuting times on several factors; urban sprawl, not enough transit, congestion on the highways, and the inverse relation between proximity and property values.

The real reason is simpler. People live too far from work.  There’s a Nobel Prize in there, I’m sure of it. 

Commute My Sentence