I saw an ad for Maclean’s magazine the other day. The magazine cover in the ad sported the headline, “We now spend the equivalent of 32 working days a year stuck in traffic.”
I thought to myself, “Goodness, that’s crazy. I don’t believe it!” My next thought was, “Where’s my iPad?” For the calculator, of course.
My daily commute time varies with the seasons but I’d say the average time is 25 – 30 minutes, each way. Let’s say an even 30 minutes, for convenience. That’s an hour a day. Five hours a week. Multiplying 5 by 52 is 260 hours a year! Applying some division, that’s 32½ working days a year. Looking at it another way, that’s almost 11 whole days.
If I could cut my commute in half, I’d gain 5½ full days of free time, every year. Frankly, I’ve had this very much on my mind because I mis-remembered my division and thought I was spending 32½ full days commuting, but happily, that’s not the case.
But still, 11 days?
I don’t consider it a complete waste, however. I listen to CBC Radio One so I get my local and international news while I drive. Given their programming, I suspect that I get a lot more local news than most people. It still irks me though. I’d much prefer to do the things I want to do, and not make the best of what I must do.
It hasn’t yet come to the point that I’m considering relocating over it. It might be different if my company owned the office in which I work. They’ve moved once already. They may move again and because of where I work in relation to where I live, it is very unlikely that another move will make my commute longer. In the meantime, I can take solace in the fact that I’m not among the 25% of Canadians who spend more than 90 minutes a day going to and from work.
The Maclean’s article is called “Stuck in Traffic.” It’s interesting and there are compelling aspects to the solution it proposes.