Balancing Act

Looks like I’ll be taking a micro road trip everyday

We’re moving from the South Bay to the Inland Empire this month solely for the purpose of shortening and alleviating my wife’s work commute at the expense of increasing my commute by 900% (from 5 mile drive to work to 50 mile drive). We’re also exploring options to buy a new house in the area so we’ve signed a 9-month lease with a condo to see how we adjust to the commute (I’ve tested out the commute already so I know what to expect) and if we can adapt and assimilate to the IE life style during the life of the lease. More importantly, my wife will enjoy a train ride down to Orange County via the Metro Link, followed by a shuttle ride from the station to her company. All this in addition to her transportation fare being reimbursed by her company. All in all, it’s a pretty sweet deal for her. For me? I’ll brace for a daily 1.5 ~ 2 hour micro road trip. I have more patience than my wife sitting in traffic, so it doesn’t really bother me. With the increased amount of driving I’ll do, I’ll of course have to change my driving style without aggravating other drivers on the road.

prius-loadedSo on a 3rd gen 2012 Prius with a loaded cargo, driving the 91-East at a constant 65-70 miles per hour during 93-degree record March temperature, A/C set to “Lo” and fan set to 1/4 power and hitting sporadic patches of traffic, I was able to attain an estimated 55.1 MPG.

We made a total of three trips, the MPG results were pretty similar, ranging from 55.1 MPG to 63.5 MPG (63.5 MPG occurred when I was cruising on the 91-E Express Toll Lanes). The drive to the Inland Empire during rush hour traffic isn’t as bad as I was anticipating. I’ve experience far worse traffic condition during my teen years and early 20’s.


The return drive at night with almost no traffic while pulsing and gliding at 70 MPG, I was able to attain 69.2 MPG.


The drive to work in the morning, via the 91-W took me about a little over an hour and a half (traffic on freeway exit and making a detour to Carl’s Jr. to pick up breakfast). Traffic only occurred at the 91-W between the 71 express way and 15 free way. It’s only a ten mile stretch, but that ten mile translates to crawling at 5-12 MPH, more if there’s an accident.  Fortunately, that area of the freeway is being expanded and expansion work will continue into the 2nd quarter of 2017.


So in regular rush hour traffic from the Inland Empire to the South Bay via the 91-E, I was able to achieve 66.3 MPG. This is not a bad start. ‘Course I’ll be experimenting around some more to squeeze out every drop of fossil fuel to maximize my driving range per tank. My intermediate goal is to join the 7x.x MPG club.

Anyone else in the Inland Empire doing the same or similar commute?



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