The Toronto Star recently ran a series of articles about commuting, with part 6 discussing commuting in the GTA. The article discusses one man's commute, 75 km long, which this man keeps to 45 mins by leaving for work at 4:15 AM.
Now, traffic is bad in the city, but what the heck? 4:15 AM?
Ok, so the man lives in Oshawa... but he works in Mississauga! He's driving across the black hole of Toronto, which is the worst-case scenario for commuting. The solution, finding a job closer to home or a home closer to his job, doesn't seem to be worthwhile to this man, so instead he starts working at 5 AM and never sees his kids.
My sympathy meter is at zero.
Another commuter is quoted as spending half her pay on the costs of the car. Are people's choices really so limited, that they can't afford to move or find work elsewhere? Is there no better solution?
I find it interesting when people make choices and then complain about the consequences of their actions. "I have to drive for hours and hours to get to work." Yeah, that's because you live in the boonies and work downtown. "But houses are expensive downtown!" Sure, you can get bigger houses for the same price if you live somewhere else, but didn't it occur to you that you were making a trade-off? I live in a condo because it's cheaper than a house, not because I don't want a 5 bedroom mansion with a three-car garage. The price I paid for my condo could buy a very large house in other cities, but then I'd have to drive a long way to get to work. That's how the world works.
In the Star's other articles about traffic chaos, they mentioned cities like Jerusalem, where commuting is a nightmare because of security restrictions. Those people have something to complain about. In Toronto, or nearby, if you're driving more than one hour each way, and this bothers you, there are solutions to your problem. But there's always a trade-off.