Words On Wednesday

2015-07-15 Work Commute Logistics

I like to consider myself a problem solver, so I approach challenges in the most logical way possible. Therefore, I confront logistics with tests and hard numbers.

My commute to and from work has always been an uncertain one. There are a number of different paths I can take that offer a variety of benefits and shortcomings. One route seems to be more direct, but is frequently under construction and thus backed up consistently. The other is slightly out of the way and contains both a traffic circle and railroad crossing, but often has less traffic and construction. Decisions, decisions…

Over the past few weeks, I’ve taken either route at random to see if one felt faster or more reliable than the other. Given I don’t do so well with early morning tasks, they both felt about the same. A thought then occurred to me to record hard numbers in order to get a visible record of the commute. I brainstormed a few metrics to keep up with and created a spreadsheet to record them.

Currently, I’m monitoring date, route, destination, total drive time, drive time of specifically the route variation, and whether I have to bypass the train. This hinges on me remembering to start and stop my phone stopwatch, so the numbers are rather sparse right now. However, as I continue this process, I hope to build up a fairly substantial data set.

Once I’ve gotten several data points for both routes, I’ll find the average times for each and make a decision on which is faster or better. Obviously, changes to the routes outside of my power could influence these numbers. Finished construction should speed up the first route considerably. New businesses could bring an influx of traffic that I can’t control.

Is this a huge deal? Absolutely not. Honestly, I don’t expect there to be more than a minute or two of variance between my routes. As my family might say, “it’s a nickle one way and five cent the other.” The existence of this uncertainty, however, drives me to come up with an answer. No matter if I can improve my work commute, I just want the knowledge of which route is faster.


Words: 368 | Characters: 2077 | Sentences: 22 | Average Word per Sentence: 17 | Paragraphs: 6 | Reading Level: 11-12th Grade


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