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Change Your Commute Not Your Job

written by Kayla Torgersen Aug 1st 2018

Are you unhappy with your commute? If so, you’re not alone; many Americans are also unsatisfied with their commutes. Before doing something drastic—like changing jobs—why not consider a different mode of travel?  We broke down possible commute options below to help you determine which mode can best fit your schedule and wallet.

  Flexible Free Free Time Door to Door
Walking X X X
Biking X X* X
Transit X X
Carpooling/Vanpooling X X**
Telework X X* X

*The free costs of biking and telework do not account for the equipment and upkeep needed for these modes

**Carpools and vanpools create their own schedules. The door to door service is up to the discretion of the carpool/vanpool

 

Walking:

Walking to work can offer both health benefits and schedule flexibility. With many Americans spending up to 90% of their workday sitting, getting your steps in —any way you can— is crucial to a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, walking can stimulate creative thinking, memory recall, and may help with depression. If walking all the way to work is not feasible, you can combine your walk with nearby public transportation, mass transit, or a rideshare such as carpooling or vanpooling.

Cost: Free

Biking:

Biking is all about control. If you work crazy and unpredictable hours, this might be a winning option as it enables you to travel a bit faster and further while still offering the flexibility to create your own schedule. Another advantage of biking is that it usually gives you a welcome break from the typical bumper-to-bumper rush hour commute.

Cost: Free (bicycle equipment and maintenance needed)

Transit:

Are you looking to save money, move quickly, and gain some extra free time? If so, transit is the green mode for you. Both the commuter rail and subway systems generally allow you to bypass road traffic while granting valuable minutes to catch up on the latest New York Times bestselling book, listen to a podcast, or even catch up on a few work emails. While the initial transit cost may seem expensive, comparing this amount to the total spent on gas and vehicle ownership/maintenance is a quick way to realize how much you’re actually saving.

Cost: Depends on your zone of travel

Carpooling/Vanpooling:

Sometimes the commute options listed above are simply not feasible with your work schedule and other obligations. In this case, carpooling or vanpooling may be the solution. Either mode still affords the free time benefits of mass transit, but with the added luxury of a guaranteed seat.  While carpooling and vanpooling are not as flexible due to the other passengers’ typically set fixed schedules, the Emergency Ride Home program can help you get home, at no cost, in case of emergencies. Check out our article on the differences between carpooling and vanpooling to find the right ‘pool for you.

Cost: Varies

Telework:

If you’re looking to eliminate your commute altogether, look no further! While not all employers offer telework, more and more are adopting this kind of program for their employees. Check in with your boss to see if you can start a teleworking trial period in your office this Summer. But first, be sure to brush up on our teleworking tips to prep your pitch to your manager.

Cost: Free (office equipment needed)

 

With such a variety of sustainable commute options, there’s little reason to be stuck in daily traffic. While each aforementioned mode does include challenges, the benefits are simply too great to pass up. For help setting up your own personal commute plan, reach out to your Outreach Coordinator. Don’t forget to track your trip on Bay State Commute to see your environmental impact and get rewards.

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