Longer Commutes Due to Recession?

Think your daily commute is bad? Wait until you hear this.

A recent story on MSNBC reports that more and more Americans are being forced to drive longer distances for work because of the recession. Many individuals have taken jobs that are far away from their homes in order to care for their families and finances.

The story discusses Joshua Cassidy who works in Maryland and has a three-hour round-trip daily commute — which is still shorter than his actual eight-hour commute to see his family in West Virginia every other weekend.

The article describes why some people have to choose such long commutes:

These days, it is the tight job market that is turning some workers into supercommuters as they accept a job far from home because it’s better than no job at all.

Although it is too early to get hard statistics on how many people are making that trade, there is anecdotal evidence that the nation’s high unemployment rate is forcing people to lengthen the commute time that they consider acceptable, says transportation consultant and commuting expert Alan Pisarksi.

The weak housing market, which has left many Americans owing more to the bank than their house is worth, has likely exacerbated the problem because people can’t simply sell their house and go to where the jobs are.

“People are frozen in place,” Pisarski said.

I cannot imagine having to drive a three-hour daily commute — but it seems that, in our tough times, some may not have a choice in this.


About Beata Bujalska

Beata Bujalska is the former Campaign Coordinator for Renew Lehigh Valley. She currently lives in Panama, a place that fascinates her due to (among other reasons) its recent development boom.

Posted on July 23, 2010, in Energy, Public Infrastructure, Transportation and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. For 15 years I’ve had a 2 hour commute, by car, to my job in NJ.

    Before that, for 3 years I rode the bus to Manhattan.

    That’s the price I’ve paid to have my wife stay home with the kids, and for me to work 6:30-3:30 ( I get home at about 5:30-5:45 every night). Along the way, I studied Taekwondo (with my oldest) and earned my Black Belt.

    My life may not be perfect in many people’s view, but it has worked well for me and my family.

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