Commute Time Analysis

Abhijit, 06 April 2023

After I shifted to the new place, I was curious to see how long the commute took. I drive most days, bus being non-viable, and I wondered if tweaking my departure time on each end made a difference. It seemed like it, so I plugged the numbers into a spreadsheet last weekend and this is what the data say:

The triangles represent the nominal trip time (normalised for distance - we have multiple work locations so the travel distance is slightly different). In the morning, 9am is the worst time to leave; before 8.30am is the best. Evenings do not have such a sweet spot - the earlier I leave, the faster I get home ;)

More importantly, the bike commute data are the highest time entries (obviously). What surprised me is the difference between bike and car times. The best outbound car times are around 20-25 mins. Bike times are around 40mins - I can’t seem to go faster than 40mins for a 15km trip. The return on the other hand, is about 30 mins best car time, while the bike times are closer to 45 or 50 mins. That is because the bike is much faster in evening traffic even though I am tired and it is uphill (and there is a short-cut of sorts only available on the return). I find it surprising that commuting by bike only adds 40 mins worst case, and is a good exercise. If only there were slightly better cycle tracks….

Here’s the spreadsheet template for anyone who wants to plug in their data!