"The Bus Buddies are part of the fastest-growing group of work travelers in the country, people who rarely see their houses in daylight, leave home when their kids are still asleep, and mainline Red Bull just to stay awake. They're known as extreme commuters. They spend at least a month of their lives each year traveling a minimum of an hour-and-a-half to work and back.
This is what economists call "the commuting paradox." Most people travel long distances with the idea that they'll accept the burden for something better, be it a house, salary, or school.
People usually overestimate the value of the things they'll obtain by commuting -- more money, more material goods, more prestige -- and underestimate the benefit of what they are losing: social connections, hobbies, and health... "
-excerpt from a February 25, 2005 BusinessWeek article; authors Michelle Conlin, Lauren Gard and Rob Doyle