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Bike, Train, or Automobile? Three reporters race through morning commute

This story most recently aired in the April 26, 2023 episode of Crosscurrents.

It’s not just you. That morning commute is getting longer and longer. As the local economy picks up steam, more and more people are getting in their cars, riding BART, and hopping on their bikes to get to work. This means everyone is spending more time on the road and is doing it less comfortably.

Researchers have created a heroic-sounding category called “super commuters.” Those are people who spend at least 90 minutes commuting to work each day. (Which isn't really super when you're the one doing it.) They studied a decade’s worth of data and found super commuters have increased by more than 100 percent since 2005.


One especially tough commute is from the East Bay to the job-heavy Peninsula — dozens of miles of freeways, tolls, traffic, and few transit options. Three reporters from KALW tested all the options with a race from North Oakland to the heart of Silicon Valley — Stanford University in Palo Alto. Ashleyanne Krigbaum drove, Jeremy Dalmas hopped on public transit, and Ben Trefny traveled by bike and ferry.

Whose commute would be the fastest, and whose would be the most pleasant? Let’s find out.


This story first aired on April 28, 2014.

Ben was hired as Interim Executive Director of KALW in November, 2021.