But they agree on the benefits: fresh air, camaraderie, improved mood, and exercise. “Any money savings is secondary to the peace of mind I get,” says Steve Kang, a 49-year-old NBC executive.
A bicycle commute, of course, is one of the more popular alternatives.The number of cycling commuters grew from 15,000 in 2000 to 48,800 in 2017, according to the city’s transportation department.
More unusual modes of commuting attempted in recent years include a software engineer who took to crossing the Hudson River on a homemade folding boat, an app developer who rode an electric unicycle 11 miles from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, to Manhattan’s Union Square, and a startup founder who paddled between Hoboken, N.J., and Midtown in a kayak.
It’s no wonder people keep experimenting. According fleet-management firm Geotab, New York City’s 3,287,000 commuters endure the nation’s longest average travel time: 43 minutes, compared with 32 for Los Angeles.