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Any supercommuters (100 mi. +)?
Old 04-09-2012, 09:23 PM   #1
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Any supercommuters (100 mi. +)?

Here are a couple of stories on the increasing numbers of "supercommuters", workers who live in one place and work many, many miles away.

Super Commuters Take the Morning Plane - Businessweek

Canadian version:
The rise of the super-commuter | Features | Economy | News | Financial Post

Link to the NYU study:
http://wagner.nyu.edu/rudincenter/pu...ter_report.pdf

Quote:
The twenty-first century is emerging as the century of the “super-commuter,” a person who works in the central county of a given metropolitan area, but lives beyond the boundaries of that metropolitan area, commuting long distance by air, rail, car, bus, or a combination of modes.i The super-commuter typically travels once or twice weekly for work, and is a rapidly growing part of our workforce. The changing structure of the workplace, advances in telecommunications, and the global pattern of economic life have made the super-commuter a new force in transportation.

Many workers are not required to appear in one office five days a week; they conduct work from home, remote locations, and even while driving or flying. The international growth of broadband internet access, the development of home-based computer systems that rival those of the workplace, and the rise of mobile communications systems have contributed to the emergence of the super-commuter in the United States.
I skeptical of the percentages they give, but I have no doubt the trend is increasing.

Seems to me that the ER.org group might have a fair number of super commuters. I recall one of our Texas members lives in east Texas and commutes weekly to Louisiana (or is it vice versa?).

Mainly, though, I'm curious about any experiences relocating to live in a retirement location way out in supercommuter territory while working through the "one more year" syndrome on the glide path to an ER date.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:28 PM   #2
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I'd almost rather die than commute that far every day. Luckily, being retired, I don't have to. When I worked, I commuted a mile and a half each way.

Lots of people, including many of my co-workers had to commute long distances here in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina due to lack of housing. It was awful for them.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:23 PM   #3
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DH commutes to wherever his client is at the moment. His next four years will be spent commuting from Nevada to DC almost weekly. I, on the other hand, commute from my bedroom to my office which is about 10 steps away.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:46 PM   #4
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Here's a story on the Texas version of supercommuting:

Supercommuting takes off, even as gas prices rise

About 10 years ago, DH worked on a project in Houston for a year or so. Since his father lives there, he'd drive down on Monday, stay with his dad, and come home Thursday or Friday. I was working 45-50 hours and shuttling two kids around to activities during the week. When I had to take a business trip, he would adjust his schedule. Once I got the kids to school and headed for the airport, DH left Houston at noon to be home when school was out.

Later he was on extended assignments in Savannah and Chicago but those were just for a couple of months.

I look back now and have no freakin' idea how we got through it.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:38 AM   #5
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I had a colleague whose spouse worked in the Gulf of Mexico. Employer would fly them to New Orleans from anywhere in the US to take a helicopter out to the rig. Does that count?
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:00 AM   #6
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Not sure if this counts as a 'commute':
For over two years, I would fly to China (yes, China) spend 8-10 days and then fly back to Boston for 4-5 days. Then go back. Why not stay there? Had other business in the US that required F2F.

Amassed 4 millions air miles though!
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:23 AM   #7
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I commuted 500 miles for 1 1/2 years (lived in Caracas and worked in Puerto Ordaz). Flew out monday mornings (6:00 AM Aeropostal) and returned friday afternoons (4:45PM Avensa). I took that same Monday Aeropostal flight more than 60 times, and missed it only twice. One of the two times I was late and missed it, it was hijacked to Cuba...
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:41 AM   #8
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When I w*rked in San Diego, I used to commute to LA every day. 95 miles one way.
There were others where I worked who did the 200 mi round trip thing. Not a rare thing in So Cal.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:17 AM   #9
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My partner in the NY office lives in central NJ and commutes to JFK airport every day.
80 miles each way. About 2 hours each way, on a good day. Which are rare.
He has done it for about 15 years.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:36 AM   #10
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I actually do not consider these true super commuters as they are not doing it on a daily basis (or the days they work)...

To me, they are working in a different city than where their family is located and they visit them on weekends...

I remember a similar version a long time ago... and there was a refinery worker who commuted from Katy, TX to Beaumont TX every day he worked... over 100 miles each way... every day he worked...

Using their definition, I knew some people who were supercommuters... they lived in Houston and worked in New York... did it two or three weeks out of a month.... I lived in Houston and worked in New York, but they paid for an apartment for me and I only flew home once a month...
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:52 AM   #11
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Nothing unusual in Southern California, lots of 25, 50 and 90 mile+ commutes in my office. People regularly commute from Lancaster and Palm Springs to LA.
Not me, got the little 1,000 Sq Ft 2 bd,1ba house to keep commute to 8-10 minutes and no freeway if I didn't want to get on it.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:33 AM   #12
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Another thing that I think is important is the time to commute...

IOW, when I worked for mega, I have a 1 hour commute and lived about 25 miles from work... my sister who lived in Oregon had a 1 hour commute and lived 50 miles from work.... the commute time was the same... the miles really did not matter except for the cost...

I knew people in London and NY who had 2 hour commutes each way... they lived far enough away so they could afford a nice place for the family...
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
I commuted 500 miles for 1 1/2 years (lived in Caracas and worked in Puerto Ordaz). Flew out monday mornings (6:00 AM Aeropostal) and returned friday afternoons (4:45PM Avensa). I took that same Monday Aeropostal flight more than 60 times, and missed it only twice. One of the two times I was late and missed it, it was hijacked to Cuba...
Yikes!
One of the guys we met in Peru lives in Lima and commutes by plane to various parts of the country to oversee projects. I asked him why he didn't drive and he said the company truck kept getting stolen whenever he'd take it anywhere!

I've only got about 40 miles one-way for my commute, but with construction delays lately, it has started grinding on me more than usual.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:50 AM   #14
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One of DW's colleagues commutes to CA from NJ every week.

DW commutes to her company's CA headquarters from the southeast one or twice a month. We are moving down the street from HQ though, so this will end soon.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:55 AM   #15
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Not quite a supercommuter but DH commuted to work 62 miles away for 4 1/2 years. Currently I commute 55 or 45 miles but only twice a week. I say 55 or 45 because it depends on whether I want to prioritize speed or gas mileage. It is actually faster to go the 55 mile route as opposed to the 45 mile route...

At our old house the neighbors who recently moved in across the street (this is in Texas) work apparently both work for Google. They mostly work from home but, as I recall, have to go to California 1 week per month.

At our new house, another neighbor indicated that our new next door neighbor works for an oil company and spends 2 weeks of every month on the North Slope and then is here for 2 weeks.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:16 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Another thing that I think is important is the time to commute...

IOW, when I worked for mega, I have a 1 hour commute and lived about 25 miles from work... my sister who lived in Oregon had a 1 hour commute and lived 50 miles from work.... the commute time was the same... the miles really did not matter except for the cost...

I knew people in London and NY who had 2 hour commutes each way... they lived far enough away so they could afford a nice place for the family...
I was thinking this, too. In the NYC area, a 25-mile commute will take at least an hour if by train or car, and it is often a difficult, stressful, and annoying commute. The commute for me (60-75 minutes each way but only about 25 miles each way) was the main reason for my ERing in 2008. And I made the trip only 2 days a week in my last few months but it was still 2 days too many.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:39 PM   #17
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This is not uncommon in rural areas where the destination city doesn't have too much suburban sprawl, and there's an interstate through the rural area. I'm 2 hours from St. Louis, and I know a few in town who do this. Sitting on cruise control for 2 hours, is different than driving in stop in go traffic.

When the cost of gas exceeds the difference in home prices, it stops making sense. Some folks just have an emotional attachment to their childhood town, and won't move under any circumstances.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:50 PM   #18
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This is not uncommon in rural areas where the destination city doesn't have too much suburban sprawl, and there's an interstate through the rural area. I'm 2 hours from St. Louis, and I know a few in town who do this. Sitting on cruise control for 2 hours, is different than driving in stop in go traffic.

When the cost of gas exceeds the difference in home prices, it stops making sense. Some folks just have an emotional attachment to their childhood town, and won't move under any circumstances.
There are two trends currently underway which are taking us both closer to, and farther from, the job centers.

On one hand, we have oil prices that may be causing people to want to live closer to work because the commuting costs are getting so high.

On the other hand, we have technology enabling more and more people to work from their homes, needing only a telephone and broadband Internet, which effectively enables them to live just about anywhere.

Perhaps suburbia may end up getting squeezed on both ends by these trends.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:22 PM   #19
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One must usually spend quite a bit more on housing, or accept a much older and/or much smaller dwelling, to live in cities where it is still safe to live. And when there is transit, and the corresponding growth of transit oriented residential development, this tends to be also be concentrated, multifamily housing. The park and ride solution is really limited, as we are finding in my city, because parking garages are a really low return (high cost) choice on land that could be profitably used for residential/retail combinations.

There is no golden solution for everyone, but new starts on SFH within the city of Seattle are getting rare. And they are usually architect designed, very nice, and very expensive homes, sometimes taking advantage of views and similar amenities. But this is no solution for the usual worker.

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Old 04-10-2012, 02:28 PM   #20
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One must usually spend quite a bit more on housing, or accept a much older and/or much smaller dwelling, to live in cities where it is still safe to live.

Ha
As we found out in San Francisco, a short commute can come with a very high price tag, especially if one wants relative safety and convenience.
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