There is a very interesting article on the Stats Canada web page talking about a survey done in Montreal, looking at commuting patterns. If you asked me I would have thought folks would rather have short commutes and work near where they live, however this article says pretty much the opposite:
Rather, this study suggests, people actually like to work in large business districts, and are willing to travel further to get to them.
The findings challenge the generally held assumption that workers accept the extra travel costs because of the higher incomes and job status offered at employment poles. Instead, income and job status actually play a relatively minor role in explaining why people who work in these large business districts are prepared to live further from their jobs than people who work outside them.
That’s very interesting. I hate commuting, but I also know that I don’t want to work at home. Currently my commute to and from work is about 20 minutes which is just fine for me thank you. My only complaint is that I can’t use mass transit to get to my office (which is in a business area of Ottawa).
Do you like commuting? I guess that is the question of the day on the site? I don’t like the economics of commuting too (bus pass, car maintenance, lost time, etc.,).
Speaking as someone who lives in Greater Montreal, I think alot of this has to do with real estate prices.
In 2005, I moved from the central Montreal neighbor of Outremont where I owned a 900 sq. ft. top floor triplex condo (circa 1920) to a north shore neighborhood into a 2600 sq. ft. house with 6000 sq. ft. of land (circa 1990).
The cost difference between the two pieces of real estate was only $23k.
Now, rather than spending 40 minutes on a city bus to get to work, I spend 40 minutes on a commuter train. Although my train pass cost me about double that of my bus/metro pass, I find the tradeoff well worth it.
Also, living in the burbs, I no longer have to move my car (which was parked in the street) every other day even though it wasn’t being driven during the week.