An average morning for Joel Wood used to begin with a 20-minute drive from his Langley home. He would arrive at a park-and-ride in South Surrey, board a bus to a Canada Line station, then take a train into Vancouver. From there, it was just one more bus ride to his job as assistant director of the Centre for Environmental Studies at the Fraser Institute in Kitsilano. At the end of the day, he would do it all again in reverse—a total commute time of 75 minutes each way, or about two and a half hours per day. He would spend 50 hours each month in his car, buses and trains—the equivalent of working more than three extra months per year. “It was pretty taxing,” says the 34-year-old father of one (soon to be two). “You’re away from family, away from small children, away from your partner.”
After three years of slogging from Langley to Kitsilano and back, Wood started to look for work in smaller cities; his wife is from a small town and they both pined for a slower pace of living.
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