Video: Super commuters take the long way home
Transcript of: Super commuters take the long way home
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: job and economic insecurity and as falling home values have made it difficult if not impossible to move, there's been a big uptick in people willing or forced to travel extreme distances to go to work. There's even a name for them, supercommuters, and their numbers are decidedly on the rise. NBC 's Janet Shamlian has our report from Houston .
JANET SHAMLIAN reporting: The day starts early in this Houston carpenter shop. But no one in this warehouse serving the MD Anderson Cancer Center has had an earlier wake-up call than maintenance manager Rodney Beseda . Beseda leaves his house at 4:15 AM because his daily drive to work one way is 95 miles .
Mr. RODNEY BESEDA (MD Anderson Cancer Center Facility Manager): The first five minutes can be very difficult. I'm like, 'oh, my gosh, how am I going to do this?'
SHAMLIAN: But he does. Three and a half hours behind the wheel a day, 1,000 a week on his car, and monthly, $450 for gas.
Mr. BESEDA: A worm with a hook.
SHAMLIAN: The father of four, who travels from tiny Fayetteville , Texas , is a supercommuter, one of a growing number of Americans who live in one city and work in another.
Mr. MITCHELL MOSS (New York University Rudin Center for Transportation): The enormous increase in supercommuters is do to the willingness of Americans to travel huge distances to keep a job, hold a job and get a job, but not at the price of making their families move with them.
SHAMLIAN: Mitchell Moss authored the census-based study which found extreme commutes on the rise in eight of the nation's 10 largest metropolitan areas, even as gas prices climb. Sometimes the trip to work is measured not in gallons of gas but in airline miles . Southwest runs two dozen flights like this one between Houston and Dallas every day. Many are filled with passengers who use it almost like a city bus service to get to and from their jobs. Rackspace Hosting now provides its own Wi-Fi -enabled bus for workers who commute 80 miles between Austin and San Antonio .
Mr. LANHAM NAPIER (Rackspace Hosting CEO): Paying for this commute on the surface looks crazy, but we can tell you it makes absolute business sense.
SHAMLIAN: For workers, supercommuting often makes more financial sense than trying to sell their home in a tough economy. For Rodney Beseda the
motivation is simple: his family lives here, he has a life here.
Mr. BESEDA: At the end of the day family's what matters most.
SHAMLIAN: The long road no longer less traveled, as workers go to distance for a paycheck. Janet Shamlian , NBC News, Houston .
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