Friday, June 12, 2009

Commute

I've finished my second week at my new job. There's not much that I can say about it in an open setting such as this blog. So, instead, I'll talk about my commute.

My last job, in Rochester, was delightfully close by. So close, in fact, that I had a mere 17 minute walking commute from front door to my desk. That was quite nice. In fact, I was so junior at the company that, even if I wanted to drive to work, it would have done me little good: I would have had to drive away from my job, park the car, then take a shuttle back in. Yup, walking was a great way to go - even in minus 20 weather.

Now, however, I live in Concord and work in Manchester. So, I not only have a 20+ minute commute, but it's a driving commute. I'm sure many of my more urban friends will laugh at that, but it's a big deal to me.

I don't begrudge the time in the car all that much. Traffic isn't too bad, it's almost entirely a straight shot on the highway, and I listen to NPR going to and from. I do worry about the miles, though. My Jetta manages 30+ mpg on the highway, which I consider pretty good, but 40 miles of daily driving is a hit to the pocket and to the carbon footprint no matter what I'm driving. The gas cost is about $3.50 with current prices. If I figure in insurance, depreciation, and everything else that goes into the IRS' $0.55/mile reimbursement rate, it becomes an extra $20/day compared to my old job. There's also a $1 toll each way, which is easy to forget when using the EZPass.

I'd be stoked to get a car with better mileage, but it is tough to justify replacing perfectly good automobile just to reduce my gas consumption by only 25-33%. Taking out a car loan right now would be a poor tactical move in our quest to securing our next mortgage. Besides, if we're replacing any car in the near future, it's probably going to be Hilary's, uhhh, hale Subaru wagon - 15 years old and 140,000 miles.

What is the solution to this problem of commuting? I'm not sure. It is almost certainly too far to bike. Even in training it would be an hour each way - time that I can ill afford. There may be carpooling or shuttle buses available, if I can make that work with my work (and Brynna's daycare) schedule. Moving closer is possible, but it is probably more important for Hilary to remain close to the hospital.

Perhaps I'll just get used to it, like most everyone else does. I hope, even if I can accept it, I don't ever forget it.

1 comment:

John Murphy said...

There's been discussion of a light rail system for the Concord-Manchester corridor for some time now. Any idea how far that proposal has gotten?