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Page added on June 29, 2008

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costs are changing commutes

High gas prices cause workers to consider distances to jobs as well as salary offers when deciding on positions

As the cost of filling the tank rises relentlessly, job seekers across the country increasingly are saying no to work sites that are too far from home, labor market experts report. In the Bay Area, long-distance commutes have become deal-killers for growing numbers of workers, a trend that is beginning to reshape travel and work patterns in the region.

One of the effects of rising gas prices has been an increase in the use of public transportation. In recent months, thousands of Bay Area commuters have left the roads in favor of trains, buses and ferries. BART ridership rose 4.5 percent during the first three months of 2008 from the year before, while Caltrain saw a 6.4 percent jump.

But many jobs are in office parks or other sites far from public transit corridors, leaving few alternatives to the private automobile. People who earn $15 or $20 an hour often can’t afford to pay $60 or more a week to gas up. So they’re trying to keep their travel distances short.

San Francisco Chronicle

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