### Calorie Commute Cost

Don’t ask me. I work from home. My commute is about 10 feet. But, if I had to commute what would it be worth?

Why are we doing this? Primarily, I wanted to figure out what would be a reasonable value to charge to drive someone to and from work, say, if you had a fully automated vehicle and wanted to share it with everyone who could afford it – like Uber but without a driver. What could you charge? And, also, I wanted to know, if I have to get a on-site job, what would be the cost I’d have to add to my paycheck to take such a job.

• 20 miles to work site, 40 miles round trip.
• 100 calories burned by the average human body walking one mile.
• 500 calories that can be purchased (on average) for one dollar.
• 40 mph average speed of a “commute” vehicle.
• \$40 dollars per hour cost equivalent lost while driving.

[Now, I know I’m mixing my metaphors here – human calories and vehicle speed – but I’m just looking for ballpark here. I could got with gas + maintenance + vehicle cost, but that would vary just as much.]

Energy:
It would take 4000 calories for a human to walk that far (round trip).
At 500 calories per dollar (see cite below) that’s 8 dollars round trip.
Time:
At 40 miles total at 40 miles per hour that would be \$40 per day wasted in traffic.

So we have:

• \$8 * 250 days = \$2,000 / year (energy)
• \$40 * 250 days = \$10,000 / year in time (time)

If we double the dollars per calorie cost (more reasonable given today’s food costs) then the price per year for energy goes up twice to \$16 / day or \$4,000 / year. Just for energy.

At this point we have \$14,000 per year cost to commute.

Now, the time would still be a factor in using a fully automated car, but the \$16/hour cost to pay for the travel (energy + rent the vehicle) is really low. There is no way to rent a car out (and pay for fuel) at that price. And even twice that at \$32/hour — during rush hour — would be inadequate — regardless of time considerations.

[What does Uber cost? Apparently about \$2/mile which would push the cost up to \$80/day to use Uber as a commute solution. Which oddly enough is pretty close to the \$32 + \$40 that we’d spend in travel+time. But sheesh, who wants to pay that?]

So, realistically, by NOT commuting, I’m saving between \$14,000 and \$18,000 per year.

How do you feel knowing your commute costs you over \$15k per year? Imagine telling your boss that having to sit in that little beige cubicle, within shouting distance of her, costs you personally, fifteen thousand dollars a year! Bloody hell! Let me work from home!

What about the investment concept? If a fleet of automated vehicles could operate efficiently at a cost between about \$30-\$50/hour  then such a solution “could” possibly be an economic winner. ‘Course, you could try and ride the bus…

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## 3 thoughts on “Calorie Commute Cost”

1. The internet was “suppose” to eliminate the need to drive to the office. Remember the promise of “telecommuting?” For most, that promise was never fulfilled. If you’re a writer…perhaps….

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1. 19th and 20th century managerial behaviors have stymied that promise the internet – work remotely. Bottom line? Trust.
Your physical presence under my gaze means you’re working for me. Which is a false assumption right up front. And the sentiment lingers, and will remain, until the millennials are managers and all the old-white-fat-men — currently in-charge — are dead.

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1. Unfortunately Einstein was correct. “It takes an entire generation to die off before a new idea takes hold.” –something like that. Being there so I can gaze upon you all day is such a pathetic power trip! I could do 8 hours of work in just 2 working at home…(I used to do it in Silicon Valley). But again, you are sooooo correct.

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