Non-traditional commutes

Why do I always revert back to transportation-related discussion?  Maybe I’m in the wrong line of work!

One thing I’ve noticed is that people get so locked into their routine commute.  They may not be aware of the multitude of alternate commutes that can perfectly fit their schedule.  Sure, there’s tons of ads and pushes from local government and employers to use alternate forms of transportation for repetitive commutes, but not a single place to gauge YOUR options.

I live in an area where the nearest bus stop would take me to UW.  The next closest (but up a steep hill) takes me to downtown.  I have easy access to a regional bike/ped trail, and I’m within 15 minutes of a heavily used Park & Ride (P&R).  I have so many options for my commute… so how did I end up with my current commute?  I believe it was simply the first one I thought of! 

Before I moved in to my current place, I had already planned out my commute.  Since this place is within easy reach of a bike trail, I reasoned that I could just bike from the new place to my old bus stop.  I’ve been doing it ever since I moved — at least 60 roundtrips of a 25-mile bus ride and 7-mile bike ride.  It takes ~70 minutes outbound and ~55 min inbound.

There are some instances that could force changes in a commute. The first could be shifting hours at work. Something like new or revised bus service could also change the commute as well… but it seems like even if the options change, the commute won’t switch to a more efficient trip unless the change is mandated by work or home obligations.

A trip planner that takes into account all of these modes of transportation (especially non-traditional modes) would be fantastic and fill this void.

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