University of Washington staffer Bob Edmiston was unhappy with his commute.
It took him a half hour each way driving between his Madison Park home and the university, using $2 worth of gas and paying $7 for parking. He didn’t like using that much time and paying that much money, and he was concerned about his carbon footprint.
So Edmiston used his job skills to figure out what to do. He calls himself a user-experience researcher; he finds out what people need to do to get their jobs done and helps build the software tools they need to do that.
“I’m all about the data,” Edmiston said. “So I collected data on a daily basis in terms of time on task and dollar amount per day and used that to evaluate different commute alternatives.”
First, he invested in an electric car. That eliminated his gas costs, but it didn’t change the commute time or the parking fee. Then he tried the bus. His costs went down further, to $5 a day, but as for the time. . .
“Either the 43 or the 44 bus will get me down to 23rd and Madison, but then the 11 bus for the last trek comes every 20 minutes and if you just miss it, it’s literally faster to walk all the way to the end of Madison than it is to wait for the next bus,” Edmiston said.
So a trip by bus took at least 30 minutes and sometimes an hour. Unacceptable.