The Real Estate section of the NY Times has kicked off a month-long feature that sees the reporter try out different commutes from different corners of the Metro area. It feels a bit like Nick Paumgarten’s seminal New Yorker story on commuting — breaking down the trade-off of having a sizeable home and a mostly unpalatable schlep to work versus living in a cardboard box and being able to walk to work. But it thus far only scratches of the surface of a complex topic that Paumgarten truly nailed.
To be honest, there’s sort of a snooty ‘I’m slumming it’ tone to the Times feature, as in, ‘Today, I ride the subway with laborers, minorities, and maybe even a homeless man to find out how 98% of the city gets around each day.”
To explore this phenomenon, we are embarking on a mission. For the month of January, we will ride to and from work with some of the New York area’s commuting millions.
Most of us millions don’t really see it as a “mission.” We’re just going to work.
One interesting factoid reporter Billie Cohen unearths: Nearly 40% of all U.S. “transit” commuters hail in the New York Metro area. Furthermore, 25% of area residents take “transit” to get to work; Chicago is second with 11.5%.