Community Conversations

How does the length of your commute affect your life?

Most drivers who responded shared they commute at least 20 minutes one way on a daily basis.
Most drivers who responded shared they commute at least 20 minutes one way on a daily basis. MCT

We asked the following question to readers on social media and the Public Insight Network recently: How does the length of your commute affect your life? Thanks for all of your responses. Below are a sampling of your comments, some of which were edited for length and clarity. Learn more about the Public Insight Network and read and comment on previous discussions at MiamiHerald.com/community and select Community Conversations.

“It affects me physically and psychologically, because no matter how well I plan my time — by leaving home ahead of time and making it on time to work — many times it just doesn’t happen. Commuters can’t be excused for tardiness all the time. Nobody wants to deal with it, period. However, we can see some improvements in public transportation (Express services) and that helps a little bit. It doesn’t help when I-95, including Express lanes, are blocked and packed with cars...I commute from Hollywood to Little Havana for work. It takes me 1 1/2 -2 hours to get to work, because upon arrival on 95 Express bus, I have to connect to another bus downtown. On my return home it takes me around 2 to 2 1/2 hours from the same point. Little Havana to downtown Miami, and there do the connection on bus I-95 Express (Broward service), to arrive to Hollywood, 33020. I would consider moving, if relocation justifies it.”

Maria Rojas, Hollywood

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“When I moved to South Florida, I was fortunate enough to know where I was going to be working and found a home that was opposite most of the traffic. I have several alternate routes should my primary route have an accident. [I drive] 25 minutes one way — Deerfield Beach to Margate.”

Jennifer Burns, Deerfield Beach

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“It actually dictates when I leave from home to work and when I leave work. I know I need to get out in the a.m. before a certain time (usually 7-7:15 a.m.) or I will waste an extra 15-30 minutes in traffic. And I rarely leave from work before 6:30 p.m. for the same reason in reverse. This all shortens my day outside of work, time to relax and do “non-work” activities. Also, departing at night (or almost anytime of the day) from downtown is a nightmare, and only seems like it will get worse. The gridlock around the Marriott Marquis and new Met buildings makes for a very sour disposition and late dinners. It seems that no one planned for the realities of access with more and more people concentrated in a very compact area, assuming that public transportation, bicycles and feet would solve everything.”

David Hirsch, Palmetto Bay

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“My wife and I live and work in Miami. We each commute every day 1 1/2 hours to work each way. The day begins at 6 a.m. and ends at 8 p.m. The traffic is horrible. Since we each log three hours each day it adds up to 30 hours a week. Time that could be spent on more important things. The drive and traffic is more tiring than the work itself. The traffic, congestion, drivers etc., make it a miserable place to live.”

Robert Kuiper, Miami

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“After braving an hour and 15 minute commute to Coral Gables for over five years, I choose not to hassle with that lifestyle. I now work in a ship. It takes one day to reach work and one day to return when the ship is out of Florida. But in the ship my commute is a stress free 3 minutes climbing several flights of stairs from where I have my breakfast.”

Donald Lindsay, Fort Lauderdale

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“I feel my commute length affects my life mainly in loss of time each day for my commute. I am usually tired by the time I get home and it wastes about 10 hours of my free time per week that I could use better to have more free time with my kids and just to relax without the stress of the highway. On average it is about 50 minutes to go approx. 26 miles. I start in Pembroke Pines by Hiatus and Taft and ends at Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport on Commercial Blvd. I have not considered moving due to have younger children being established in school and sports.”

Alex Bovio, Pembroke Pines

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“There is both good and bad. The time in the car allows to me to contemplate and mentally prepare for the day head in the morning and decompress on the way home. However, on days like today (Express lanes on I-95 closed, multiple accidents) the stress shaves time off my life. One hour each way as I commute from Weston to downtown Miami. I choose to make a sacrifice to live away from the hustle and bustle of an urban core to escape to suburban community like Weston.”

Mark Neuberger, Weston

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“I live in Homestead and work in the Design District. I drive to Dadeland and take train/bus in.”

James Santoli, Homestead

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“The commute to work is relatively short so it makes my life easier than it would be otherwise. It is cost effective because I do not have to use the Expressway. The problem with the county is that when it comes to higher education, the campuses are spread out in a way that it is hard to go to college after work. Events in the county are increasingly becoming either Doral, Wynwood, Miami Beach or downtown-centered and that means driving to places that are extremes in the map and being forced into tough commutes. I am close to work because I found a job closer to my home. The longest commute in bad traffic would be 15 minutes.”

Eduardo Hernandez, Miami

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“For the longest time I considered my time commuting as my private time. That is to get ready for work in the morning and unwind before getting home. Time spent was about .5 hour going in (at 5 a.m. in the morning) and about .5 hour coming home at 2 p.m. These times allowed me to skip the real rush-hour traffic. Now in retirement from 47 years of TV engineering, the morning traffic reports are most amusing.”

Don Adamson, Southwest Ranches

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“Well it’s definitely annoying for a small island, but I’m sure it’s better than in Miami! I live on Stock Island, and it takes about 15 minutes to get to my work in mid-town Key West, but getting to the back of Old Town easily adds another 15 to that. Oy!”

Anthony Ragusea, Key West

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“I think about it everyday. I always need to plan ahead on the commute time with traffic and any other event or construction that may affect travel time. When I first moved to Palmetto Bay 12 years ago, my commute was 40-45 minutes tops. It is almost double that now. I usually leave home around 7 a.m. and usually do not get home until 7:30 p.m. When I drive in to work, I usually leave after 9 a.m. so I can get there in 40 minutes and after 7 p.m. when I head back. Traffic would be much better if people would spend less time texting and on their cellphones. Almost every driver I see on the road is on the phone.”

Jorge Zamanillo, Palmetto Bay

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“I travel against the traffic because my workplace is south (Cutler Bay) of my residence (Kendall). Therefore in the morning I only encounter some heavy traffic (depending on the time) on 152nd Street going east until I take the Turnpike going south and getting off at Exit 11. It takes me approximately 20 -25 minutes in the morning commute. I love it! In the afternoon I return home through backstreets and takes me about the same time and I avoid the Expressway traffic.”

Amparo Tojeiro, Miami

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