Join Early Retirement Today
View Poll Results: What percentage of your career commuting was done with you driving your/company car?
0-10% 15 15.00%
11-25% 6 6.00%
26-50% 0 0%
51-75% 5 5.00%
75-90% 7 7.00%
91-100% 67 67.00%
Voters: 100. You may not vote on this poll

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Poll: What percentage of your total career commuting days was done in a car?
Old 05-09-2016, 06:30 PM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
jjquantz's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 926
Poll: What percentage of your total career commuting days was done in a car?

OK, since today seems to be rather poll happy day and there was a thread on how your kids get to school, here's another poll on a somewhat related topic.

Since there has been some discussion on some of today's polls about methodology, I'll try to be complete:

1) I'm talking about your post-education w*rk commute experience,
2) The gold-standard methodology would be to consult your complete commute log for your entire w*rking life (we all keep one, right?) and divide the number of days you drove to your w*rksite divided by the total number of days that you traveled to your worksite.
3) Acceptable alternative methodologies include wild-a$$ guesses based on your fast fading memories of what it was like to go to w*rk.

Remember, these are "commute-days" so one 2 hour drive in a car is equal to 1 commute-day and a five minute walk to the office is also 1 commute-day.


I'm pretty firmly in the 10-25% range. I really only had 3 or 4 years out of 30 where I was regularly driving to w*rk. A few other years I drove some fraction of the time, but for half of my career I was able to walk/bike/public transport to work essentially all the time.

jjquantz is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-09-2016, 07:18 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Sarah in SC's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,564
I have never in my life not driven at least 20 miles to work. And there is no public transport options here that could have gotten me to any of those jobs.
I'd say that is completely normal for nearly every person I know locally.

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2016, 07:35 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
Ronstar's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A little ways southwest of Chicago
Posts: 11,320
I'm about 99.8%. I did ride my bike about 15-20 times.

Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
The wilderness is calling and I must go.
Ronstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2016, 07:41 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,768
I took a commuter train for the majority of my commute so voted 0-10%. In fact, just happened to take the same train today to meet with a lawyer for my will. Was fun for awhile seeing my old stomping grounds until I thought about the stress of the old j*b . Funny though how some stores, 8 years later didn't change much at all.
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2016, 08:06 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
MRG's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 8,170
Twenty nine years minus the six months I lived 3 blocks away. For ten years my daily commute was 125 miles round trip. Rest of those average a 50 miles round trip. There's a lot of land around here.
MRG is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2016, 08:08 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rambler's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,282
Most of my 27 year career was in Japan...21 out of 27 years. Of those 21 years, I rode public transit for 10 years. The US portion of my career was all driving, 1.5 hours in the morning, 2 hours in the evening. For 11 years of the Japan portion of my career, I had a company provided car.
Find Joy in the Journey...
Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2016, 08:36 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 8,413
I telecommuted the last 11 years or so of my 27 year career, so I drove nearly early day for 16 years except for the rare work-at-home day, and then didn't commute at all except for an occasional trip to the office the last 11. Not sure if you meant for that to be 100% since I wasn't even commuting those last 11 years, but I put 50-75%.
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2016, 08:40 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
38Chevy454's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 2,233
I have always drove myself to work. Never lived where public transportation worked out. Plus I view the freedom having my car to do other things on way home or at lunch as worth the slight expense.
The advice we're giving you is invaluable, that's why it's free
Experience is a good teacher, but the tuition can get expensive real fast

Semi-Retired 7/1/16: working part-time (60%) for now [4/24/17 changed to 80%]
Retired Aug 2, 2017; age 53
38Chevy454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Poll: What percentage of your total career commuting days was done in a car?
Old 05-09-2016, 08:42 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 13,841
Poll: What percentage of your total career commuting days was done in a car?

As others have noted, polls aren't accessible on iOS, but I rode a city bus for a few months, carpooled on and off for a few years, but mostly drove solo, during 44 years of w*rk life. Probably >90%, and no, I didn't keep a log...
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2016, 08:48 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Austin
Posts: 337
99 percent of time I drive or carpool. I rode bike during the bike to work week in the Silicon Valley. I run a few times from my home to the office in Austin. I only run to office (11 miles), but took ride back home.
HillCountry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2016, 09:30 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,140
I used commuter trains and subways and PATH trains (a small subway system between Manhattan and New Jersey) nearly the entire time of my working years. For a few years in the 1980s I had to use my car to get to the train station or simply move the car from an overnight parking spot to a daytime parking spot. A few times overall I drove partway to work so I could have my car available away from where I lived, or there were public transit service issues (i.e. strikes). And I HATED the commute; it was the #1 reason I ERed.

I answered 0-10% but it was probably around 1% tops.
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
scrabbler1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2016, 09:40 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 7,210
I really need to learn to read the descriptions before voting in the polls. I answered 11-25%, because I thought the question was what percentage of your work day was spent commuting in your car. I drove 2-3 hours/day, so 8 hours working plus 2 hours driving is a 10 hour day, of which 20% was driving.

Answering the actual poll question I'd be in the 90+% percentile.
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Anonymous (not Will Rogers or Sam Clemens)
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2016, 05:34 AM   #13
Moderator Emeritus
braumeister's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Flyover country
Posts: 13,400
Mostly by car because there was no other option.

But I was lucky enough to avoid the traffic hassle by commuting via bus a couple of times.

Once, I was able to commute by public bus. It took about the same time as if I had driven, but was so much less stressful.

Another time I commuted by express bus, which took considerably less time than driving since it used the HOV lanes (this was in the DC area).

Total bus commuting years were about 15% of my career.
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2016, 06:04 AM   #14
MichaelB's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: lumpen slums of cyberspace
Posts: 30,057
My mind is fading along with the memories of w*rk, but I'll venture a guess. According to my spreadsheet, my commute was around 40% me driving, 4% bus, 28% plane, and 28% in a car someone else was driving.
MichaelB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2016, 06:57 AM   #15
rodi's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 10,186
I answered wrong... When I first read it I thought it said company car.... not your/company car...

I never had a company car - so I voted 0%. Should have voted 91-100%.

I carpooled - but used my car (coworker was a 1 car family - so this allowed his wife use of the car and he gave me $ towards gas.)

San Diego's public transit system is pretty lousy. I looked at taking the bus. To go the 6 miles (by car) I'd have to
- walk 3/4 mile to the bus stop. Ride 5 stops then change to a different bus. Transfer time was about 30 minutes. Then walk 3/4 mile from that bus stop to my work. I estimated it would take 90 minutes minimum.
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2016, 07:56 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 2,381
I drove to work almost 100% of the time for 33 that time I lived in 3 different homes, ranging from 3 to 5 miles from the office. Commute time never exceeded 10 minutes, but at 2 of those locations transit would have taken an hour due to route layout and transfers. Parking ranged from free for 20 of those years to $34 per month by time I retired.
Music Lover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2016, 08:17 AM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,401
As a physician, a lot of the time I was on call. The bus just doesn't cut it when there is a medical emergency. As well, for most of my career I worked at locations that were not safe to walk through, especially at night. I also did medical transports.

So I would say 95% of my commutes were by car, 4.99% by plane and 0.01% on foot.
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2016, 08:36 AM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
imoldernu's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Peru
Posts: 6,218
The middle ten years of my 30 years of after college employment were spent as a district manager, with car travel averaging about 35,000 mile/yr. Other than that, first ten years as an in-place manager, and the last ten years in upper level management, with short commutes.

For the first and last part of my employment, commute was 16%.

Don't know how to figure the middle 10 years.
imoldernu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2016, 10:29 AM   #19
MBAustin's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 5,473
I chose 91-100% then realized I forgot about the first 4 years of w*rk that was a 4-person carpool, so I only drove about 30% of the time. 3-person carpool for the next 2 years, and bus for 2 years a few years later. So for 23 years I was a solo driver. Probably averages out just under 90% but I don't feel like doing the math right now.
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute." William Feather
ER'd Oct. 2010 at 53. Life is good.
MBAustin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2016, 10:40 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,744
Almost always drove because I would occasionally need my car to run errands for work (visit clients, drive to job site, go to meetings, etc).

I worked right across the street from my apartment once and walked there almost every day (about 2 minutes walking when I cut through the woods for about 15 seconds versus 2-3 minutes driving). Later I worked about 2.5 miles from home and walked there once (and never again ).

For the last few years of my career I worked downtown. The job provided a free bus pass. I took transit 1-2 days per week if I was sure I wouldn't need my car to visit the construction site or attend off-site meetings. The bus was actually quicker than my car since my parking space downtown was a bit of a walk from the office, whereas the bus dropped me off at the back door of the office.

Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (6, 12, and 13).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Commuting Traffic - Oy! lem1955 Other topics 62 11-28-2015 06:50 PM
Poll:Commuting Poll haha Life after FIRE 46 03-13-2013 05:28 AM
Commuting Nuiloa Other topics 29 10-19-2011 11:58 AM

» Quick Links

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:02 AM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.